- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Australian Open final: Victoria Azarenka vs Li Na
“I couldn’t breathe. I had chest pains,” she said, when asked why she left the court. “It was like I was getting a heart attack.”
After surviving her semifinal, Azarenka had a post-match news conference where she said she was dealing with a rib injury that made it hard to breathe. She said her earlier comments were a misunderstanding and denied that she took a medical timeout to compose herself.
Australian Open officials said the tournament doctor reported that Azarenka had left knee and rib injuries.
“Right now, I just need to calm down with the whole situation (and) make sure that my body’s right,” Azarenka said.
Li had a much more routine victory in the semifinals.
She needed just 93 minutes in Thursday’s other semifinal to power past No. 2 Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-2. She then charmed an adoring crowd by cracking jokes during an on-court interview. She kidded about her husband’s snoring, her attempts to lose weight and the tough training by her new coach Carlos Rodriguez _ before turning to the stands to thank him.
Li is in top physical form and is making a comeback to the championship weekend at a Grand Slam. After becoming the first Chinese tennis player to win at a major in 2011, she hit a slump. But she has seen rapid results in the six months since she hired Rodriguez, who seems to have a knack for guiding players past their nerves.
Li charged into the semifinals at the Australian Open without dropping a set. After beating No. 4-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals she secured herself a return to the top five in the rankings.
If the reaction at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday was any indication, the crowd favorite for the final will be Li _ who won over a lot of fans in her match and perhaps even more as a result of Azarenka’s situation.
Australian crowds love their defending champions, but dislike any whiff of bad sportsmanship. Accusations against Azarenka immediately surged through social media platforms.
By reaching the final, Azarenka retains her No. 1 ranking, but has said that’s not her focus.
“I’m really hungry to defend my title,” she said. “That is my first goal … to win the tournament.”
If she masters her jitters and comes into the final focused, Li will have a tough fight.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CPAC 2014: Straw poll signals Paul-Cruz showdown
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- U.S. deploys 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland as exercise in response to Ukraine situation
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Spoiled-kid culture creates greedy adults
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- As Ukraine falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again