- (Photo: Reuters)
The Australian Open 2013 women's final will take place on Saturday and promises to be a match not to miss. Victoria Azarenka will be facing off against China's Li Na who has once again risen to the occasion, producing some of the best tennis of her career on the way to the final. The match is scheduled to start at 3.30 a.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
Azarenka will be vying to retain her Australian Open title having won last year, and all that stands in her way is the dangerous Li Na.
Both women have only won one Grand Slam until now, and both will be hoping to claim their second today on the Rod Laver Arena.
Reports have suggested that the local crowd will be behind China's Li Na, after they became frustrated at Azarenka's controversial late medical time out in her semi final win against American Sloane Stephens.
In that semi final Azarenka took a long time out for medical assistance, which seemed to put Stephens off her game. When Azarenka returned she immediately broke the teenager's serve and claimed the match. Local fans gave her a slow clap and ironic cheers over the period, and many media outlets have questioned her sportsmanship following the incident.
However, nothing should take away from the fact that the 23 year old has performed fantastically well over the past fortnight, and some of her tennis has simply been world class.
Azarenka will be the favorite going into the final, being the reigning champion, as well as beating Li Na in all of their last four encounters.
Meanwhile, Li Na showed some of the best form of her career in the semi final as she wiped the floor with Maria Sharapova. Thrashing the second seed will have given Li Na a massive boost of confidence coming into the final and if she can replicate her form from that match then Azarenka will have to be at her best to try and fight off the attack.
The 30 year old woman is the first Asian player to win a major singles title - at the French Open in 2011.
Speaking about that previous Grand Slam, Li Na has said, "That was my first time to the Grand Slam final. I was a little bit shocked because I didn't know what I should do. No-one told me what I should do on the court. But this time I've got more experience, so I think it should be better."
The Australian Open 2013 women's final between Azarenka and Li Na will start at 3.30 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream by clicking here.