Western & Southern Open 2012: Venus Williams Will Finally Defeat Li Na

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2012

MASON, OH - AUGUST 17:  Venus Williams celebrates breaking Samantha Stosur of Australia during the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 17, 2012 in Mason, Ohio.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Twice, China's Li Na and the United States' Venus Williams have met on the court and both times, Na walked off the court victorious.

That's about to change.

Ranked 64th in the world by the WTA, Williams upset the reigning US Open Champion, Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 to reach the semifinals where she'll take on the ninth ranked player in the world, Li Na. China's Na previously defeated Johanna Larsson in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

The pair last met in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Australian Open when a mentally and physically drained Williams fell to Na 2-6 7-6(4) 7-5.

Healthy and motivated, Venus has her eyes set on the prize, as she told Examiner.com's Rick Limpert:

In a lot of my quarterfinals I fell short and couldn't play my best. I'd like to think this is only the beginning for me of more semifinals. Of course I'm going to stay focused and try to make it a final as well. I'd like to take it a lot further. But I haven't played a lot since 2010 - this is awesome for me already.

Don't take her comments to mean that she's satisfied, because the competitor—the fighter—that has been hiding inside of her is emerging once again. Look for Venus to come out with an intensity and swagger that we've not seen in years—and something that Na has never faced before.

Na is an excellent player and she'll give Venus everything that she's got.

But there is no greater power in the universe than a woman scorned and Venus Williams is going to deliver a powerful message as she puts an end to two years of disappointment, frustration, and living in sister Serena's shadow.

She's back.

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