Li Na delighted to finally beat nemesis Samantha Stosur in Rome Masters

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China’s Li Na beat Samantha Stosur for the first time at the Rome Masters to progress to the quarter-finals.
And after her 6-3 6-1 victory the no.2 seed spoke about her Grandstand triumph and facing Sara Errani in the next round.

How was it to win against Stosur for there first time?
I think today I was very focused on what I had to do on the court. To make the right plan and put pressure on her.

Was that the main plan – to put pressure on her to make mistakes?
I think it was the key to win the match because before I always tried a lot of changes on clay, a lot of forehands and she totally controlled the matches.

You haven’t played her since 2011, now you’re no.2 in the world. Do you go into these kind of matches thinking I am a better player now and none of that happens before matters?
When I come to the court I was like to myself ‘ok, it doesn’t matter who’s the opponent’ and I wasn’t thinking about it too much. Even yesterday and today I thought to hit the ball right you maybe can make the difference. The last six times I was trying to control the ball and that gave her a lot of chances.

What will be your plan for the next game with Sara Errani?
She’s a tough player and it will be a tough match. She always plays well on the clay, especially in her own country. So, let’s see.

In Madrid you said you’re going to play different on the clay, how’s going so far?
I was feeling pretty good, I am playing high quality matches. I will try to do my best and find a positive way. I can’t do anything but take some information and do better the next time.

Which is actually your favourite surface?
Hard court. You play on it for eight months, clay just for two and grass only one.

It’s 12 years since anybody won both the Australian Open and the French in the same year. Is that one of your goals for the season?
I think now tennis is very tough, everyone is pretty close and everyone has the chance. I think now for all of us the most important thing is to stay healthy on the court. You cannot focus on every tournament, you have to plan a smart and easy schedule.

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