Defending champion Williams wasted four match points before finishing off a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) semifinal win with an ace against Li Na on Thursday, a day after her sister Venus lost to the Chinese player in the quarterfinals.
Serena Williams has a 100 percent conversion rate so far in finals at Melbourne Park, winning the title every time she’s played for the championship since beating Venus here in 2003. The winning sequence has been every odd-numbered year so far.
“I had so many match points and I blew it and I knew I couldn’t mess up my serve because she never gives up,” Williams said. “She’s a real, real amazing fighter.”
China had two players into the semifinals of the same major for the first time.
Zheng Jie had another chance to become the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam singles final when she took on seven-time Grand Slam winner Justine Henin in the later semifinal.
No. 5 Andy Murray and No. 14 Marin Cilic will meet in a semifinal Thursday night after ousting the second- and fourth-seeded players in the quarterfinals.
With Jo-Wilfried Tsonga taking out No. 3 Novak Djokovic late Wednesday night, there was nobody left in the draw who has beaten Roger Federer in a major.