Li, Cibulkova reach Miami semis
Key Biscayne, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - There will be a rematch of this year's Australian Open final at the $5.4 million Sony Open, as Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova both got past their quarterfinal opponents on Wednesday.
The second-seeded Li fended off 11th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, 7-5, 7-5, in a little over two hours on the hardcourts at Crandon Park.
Wozniacki, who had won 24 of the previous 26 games coming into the match, had a chance to serve out the second set but lost the final four games to fall to 1-10 all-time against players ranked No. 1 or 2 in the world.
The 10th-seeded Cibulkova staved off three match points in the second set and overcame a 2-5 deficit in a tiebreak before outlasting former Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, on the hardcourts at Crandon Park.
With her big quarterfinal victory on Wednesday, the 24-year-old Cibulkova will enter the Top 10 in the WTA rankings for the first time in her career next week. She headed to Miami at No. 11 in the world.
"This win really means a lot to me," Cibulkova beamed in her on-court interview. "It's always tough to play Aga, but I knew I just had to stay aggressive. If you make some mistakes with Aga you still have to stay aggressive. That's the way I play, and it's the only way to beat her. I had to keep it going."
Radwanska, who was the runner-up in Indian Wells two weeks ago and the Miami champion in 2012, was also upset by Cibulkova in an Aussie Open semi back in January.
Cibulkova is winless in six career meetings against Li, including a loss in the finale of this year's first major, and has only taken two sets in their matchups.
Thursday's other semifinal will pit current world No. 1 Serena Williams against fourth-seeded former top-ranked Russian star Maria Sharapova. The American great topped Sharapova in last year's final to capture a sixth Miami title and hand the Russian her fifth loss in five finals at this lucrative tournament.
Williams is a dominant 15-2 lifetime against Sharapova, including 14 straight wins dating back to 2004. The American is 3-0 versus the Russian in Miami.
The 2014 Sony Open champ will collect $787,000.
03/26 21:34:37 ET