To put it bluntly, Lucie Safarova gave this match away. She was primed to finally exorcise her demons against Li Na, but she collapsed and gave up a third-set lead in a 6-3, 3-6, 5-7 defeat.
This marks the sixth time in a row that Li has disposed of Safarova. This one will probably sting more than any of the previous five losses.
Safarova was up 5-1 in the third set, and she simply could not finish Li. She committed a string of unforced errors, failed to react to Li's angled serves and completely imploded. It was actually tough to watch, as she was so close to pulling out a much-needed victory.
At this point, Safarova's confidence has to be in the dumps. Li is definitely in her head. There's no other way to look at their matchup at this point.
In the third set, she couldn't find the accuracy with her service game, and the errors she made were inexplicable.
Li will go on to face the winner of the other women's semifinal on Monday; it features Petra Kvitova against the Rogers Cup champion from 2010, Caroline Wozniacki. Li will need to play a better match in the final than she did against Safarova.
Against any other opponent—especially one she doesn't own a psychological advantage over—she would have come up short.
She isn't likely to receive the same breaks on Monday night.
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