Li Na struggled to close out her fourth-round victory at Indian Wells. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Top-seeded Li Na needed 11 match points in her final service game to defeat Canada's Alexandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday night in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open. The marathon game took up more than 20 minutes of a one-hour, 32-minute match.
"The funny thing is at the beginning of the game I was feeling tight, nervous, and then I was feeling like, What's going on? Why can't I finish the match?" Li said. "But she never gave up. She tried to defend every point. It's a little bit ridiculous in the last game."
Li led 40-0 in the final game before firing the first of four double faults on match points. The game also featured a controversial call from the chair umpire that left the Australian Open champion seething. Down break point, Li hit what looked like a clear winner, but the ball was called out. She challenged and was proved correct, but instead of giving Li the point, the chair umpire called for a replay. Li was livid. She said she plans to talk to the WTA supervisor about the incident.
"My team didn't even know what happened," Li said. "The coach was like, Calm down, calm down. I was like, How can I calm down?"
Li won the replayed point and saved the first of two break points. She challenged five calls in the final game, winning three. After finally sealing the game thanks to a Wozniacki error, all she could do was laugh.
"At least I'm still in tournament," Li said. "At least now I still can smile at this press conference."
Watch the entire final game below:
Next up for Li is an Australian Open final rematch against No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, who defeated Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2 earlier in the day. Cibulkova is on an eight-match winning streak after winning the Mexican Open two weeks ago. Neither woman has dropped a set in the tournament.
Video via YouTube user WTATENNISPROSHD