Defending champion Williams wasted four match points before finishing off a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) semifinal win with an ace against Li Na on Thursday, a day after her sister Venus lost to the Chinese player in the quarterfinals. Serena Williams has a 100 percent conversion rate so far in finals at Melbourne Park, winning the title every time she's played for the championship since beating Venus here in 2003. The winning sequence has been every odd-numbered year so far.
"I had so many match points and I blew it and I knew I couldn't mess up my serve because she never gives up," Williams said. "She's a real, real amazing fighter." Williams broke Li's service in the opening game and maintained the break until the 10th game. Li fended off a set point in the ninth game before holding and then broke Williams' serve in the 10th game to even the match at 5-5.
In the tiebreak, Williams picked up four of her last five points on unforced errors by Li and then clinched the 58-minute set with a second-service ace. The second set went with serve, with Li fending off three match points in the 10th game and another in the 12th to force a second tiebreak. Again, Williams dominated the tiebreak to race to a 6-1 lead, closing with her 12th ace of the match. Serena will face Justine Henin in the final.