Prior to playing her Australian Open quarterfinal match against Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska had won 13 straight matches in 2013, and hadn't dropped a set. But Li, who has a good record against the Polish star, put an end not only to Radwanska's winning streak, but also to her Australian Open hopes. Playing very aggressively and very steadily against an opponent who appeared drained of energy, Li defeated the 4th seed 7-5, 6-3.
The other quarterfinal played on day 9 was all about Maria Sharapova. She beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-2, and--once again--made quite a statement.Sharapova served very well and hit 22 winners. At the same time, Makarova failed to display the sharp hitting that got her into the quarterfinals. Sharapova, who won the Australian Open in 2008, will play Li in the semifinals. Li was the runner-up in 2011.
The excitement on day 9 was in doubles competition. The Australian team composed of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Varvara Lepchenko and Zheng Saisai upset 7th seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and Zheng Jie.
And then there were the top seeds, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Errani and Vinci had the tough task of playing Serena and Venus Williams in a three-set match that included 18 breaks of serve. The Williams team won the first set 6-3. They served for the match twice in the second set, and were broken both times. That set went to a tiebreak, which Errani and Vinci won, 7-1.
The final set was all about breaks of serve. The Williams sisters broke early, the Italians broke right back, then they broke the Williams team again at 3-all. Naturally, Serena and Venus broke back. Then the Italians broke back. They served for the match, but were broken again. When they served for the match a second time, however, the Italians took the set 7-5, and therefore advanced to the semifinals.
The Williams sisters hit 46 winners, but they also made 43 unforced errors. Their timing was off, and Venus had some problems with her serve. By contrast, Errani and Vinci anticipated very well, played aggressively, and were completely in tune with each other in their movement.