US Open: Li Na wins another pay-back match to reach quarter-finals
New York: Li Na notched another pay-back victory at the US Open, beating former world number one Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the quarter-finals on Sunday.
The fifth-seeded Chinese, who overturned last year`s defeat by Laura Robson by beating the Briton in the third round, snapped a four-match losing streak to the Serbian dating back to Paris in 2009.
Former French Open champion Li cracked 20 winners and conceded only 12 unforced errors in a dazzling display, converting all her seven break points in a 57-minute masterclass.
"The last time in Rome I lost in two sets straight away. She plays pretty good defense, but who knows, maybe I played the best match of my whole life," Li said with a chuckle in her on-court interview.
"I still remember last time I played her in Rome. I was feeling I played pretty good, but still lost the match," she told reporters. "So I was so sad after the match."
Li said her coach Carlos Rodriguez used that defeat to motivate her.
"Before this match, Carlos didn`t tell me anything. Just said, `remember how you felt after that match.`
The victory put 31-year-old Li, Asia`s first grand slam singles champion, into the US Open quarter-finals for the second time following her trip to the last eight in 2009.
A two-time Australian Open finalist, Li next faces Russian 24th seed Ekaterina Makarova, who upset third seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4.
"Tonight she played really well, at a very high level," Jankovic said of Li. "I did not control the points. I let her do all the talk on the court.
"If she continues to play like this I think she can win the tournament."