Maria Sharapova: 'Li Na was more aggressive'

Maria Sharapova reacts during her semifinal loss to Li Na at the Australian Open tennis championship on January 24, 2013
© AP Photos
Maria Sharapova says that Li Na is playing "really confident tennis" following her defeat to the Chinese sixth seed in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Maria Sharapova has said that Li Na played better than ever before to triumph 6-2 6-2 in their Australian Open semi-final.

The Chinese sixth seed produced a masterful display to record her ninth win in 13 matches against the world number two and reach her second final in Melbourne.

"I think she played a really great match," said Sharapova. "She was certainly much more aggressive than I was, dictating the play.

"I was always on the defence. When I had my opportunities and breakpoints in games that went to deuce, I don't think any of them really went my way today.

"She's playing really confident tennis. I thought she played really well, probably the best she's played against me. There's no reason why she can't win."

Li will play either Sloane Stephens or Victoria Azarenka in the final.

China's Li Na hits a backhand return in her semifinal match against Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open tennis championship on January 24, 2013
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