Victoria Azarenka will look make it a second-straight strong start to the tennis season as she goes for back-to-back Australian Open titles on Friday. Her opponent, Li Na, is shaking off a poor 2012 and looks to return to the top of the tennis world. Both women will be hoping to grab their second career Grand Slam championship.
Azarenka has dropped just one set in the tournament, and that came against the USA's Jamie Hampton in the third round. Since then, she has given up more than one game in a set just twice. Azarenka did receive some good fortune when Serena Williams fell to Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals. That allowed the world No. 1 to avoid Williams, who has dominated her overall.
Li had struggled after making consecutive Grand Slam finals and winning the French Open to start 2011. Since then, she was unable to move past the fourth round. Li pushed hard in her winter workouts, and that appears to have paid off. She has yet to drop a set in the tournament, and lost only four game in dispatching No. 2 Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. The No. 6 seed also defeated No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals.
The two women have faced each other nine times before, with Azarenka holding a slight 5-4 edge. It has been all Azarenka recently, as she has defeated Li in four consecutive matches.