Sun, 09 Mar 2014 13:00:00 GMT | By AFP

Top seed Li Na into Indian Wells third round

Li Na overcame familiar foe Zheng Jie 6-1, 7-5 to enter the third round


Top seed Li Na into Indian Wells third round (© AFP)

Indian Wells: Australian Open champion Li Na overcame familiar foe Zheng Jie 6-1, 7-5 on Saturday to reach the third round of the Indian Wells hardcourt tennis tournament.

Li, women's top seed in the combined ATP Masters and WTA tournament, breezed through the opening set in just 29 minutes, but found the going tougher in the second when she was broken twice to trail 2-4.

She finally got her nose in front of her Chinese compatriot with a service break for 6-5 and sealed it in the next game after one hour and 34 minutes.

Li's current world number two ranking is the highest ever for an Asian player on the WTA Tour.

Zheng, now ranked 58th, was the first Chinese player to crack the top 15, back in 2009, and Li and Zheng played the first all-Chinese WTA final back in 2006.

So Li wasn't surprised that things got tight in the second set. "Because we know so much about each other, me and Zheng Jie," she said. "We always train together with the national team for, like, 100 years."

Li next plays Czech Karolina Pliskova, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over compatriot Klara Zakopalova.

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