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September 8, 2009

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Li cruises into the quarters

CHINA'S Li Na played her "A" game to advance to the quarterfinals of the US Open on Sunday in New York and said she dreamed of becoming the first Chinese to win a grand slam singles title.

"I think serve, return, baseline, volley, everything was fantastic today," Li said after her 6-2, 6-3 fourth-round victory over Francesca Schiavone of Italy in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

The sublime victory lifted Li to her first Flushing Meadows appearance in the last eight after twice previously getting as far as the fourth round.

"This was my dream," said the 27-year-old Li. "Four rounds already, it's a half-tournament. I hope I can win another three matches. I know it's tough."

Li, who reached the quarters of Wimbledon in 2006, will face 2005 champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium for a berth in the semifinals at the National Tennis Center.

Li said she was not worried about who she would face.

"Just relax today and take totally off tomorrow and be ready for the day after tomorrow," she said about her plans.

Clijsters holds a 3-1 career advantage over Li, but lost their last meeting in 2007 on hardcourt in Miami.

"I've had some really tough matches against her. She's a great player, has a really big forehand and really likes to play aggressive tennis as well," the 26-year-old Belgian said about Li.


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