SHENZHEN, China, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Top seed and defending champion Li Na outclassed Annika Beck to adavance to the final, joining her compatriot fifth-seeded Peng Shuai who received a semifinal walkover from Vania King due to a right leg injury.
"The injury first started when I played Sara Errani," King said. "I felt some pain in my right leg, which is why I called the injury timeout. I was hoping it would feel better yesterday but it actually started feeling worse. The match was pretty fast so I was able to finish it, but right now it's not doing so well."
"This is my first time ever having an opponent withdraw from the semis." Peng said,"I was about to go on the court when I found out. It's quite unusual but I'm still very happy to make it into the finals."
Li followed Peng into the final later on with a 6-1, 6-3 win over No.8 seed Annika Beck. Li was originally up 6-1, 5-0 before dropping three straight games - but she rallied just in time, breaking the pattern with a comprehensive hold at 15.
And so, the second all-Chinese final in WTA history is set - and it may come as no surprise that Li was also part of the first one. It came at the clay court event in Oeiras in 2006, where Li was forced to retire against Zheng Jie because of heat illness.
Li leads Peng in their head-to-head series, 5-1, including 4-0 on Chinese soil.
"Yesterday's match was good preparation for me, and today was the best match of the week for me so far," Li said. "It'll be a tough match tomorrow. We're quite familiar with each other and have improved a lot over the last year. But no matter what, I'm quite looking forward to the final."
Though Li defeated Peng with relative ease in the 2013 semifinals, 6-4, 6-0, Peng is looking particularly sharp to open the 2014 season and will prove a tough test for the higher ranked Li, who has seven WTA titles under her belt.
"True, I have lost more than I've won against Li Na, so I'm just going to do my best," Peng said.