Wozniacki served for the match at 5-4 in the second set before Li found her power
baseline game and cut her errors to break serve then close out the set.
In the final set, Li broke serve for a 4-2 lead. A Wozniacki forehand crosscourt lob floated long on the final point of the match after nearly two hours and forty minutes of play.
Wozniacki’s refusal to step up her game and attack from the baseline or the net led to her third defeat in a row in Australia to Li as the Chinese woman had also beaten the Dane last year at Sydney and Melbourne.
The Dane has faced criticism for failing to be aggressive with her game and too often relying on placement when power could be more helpful. Li stuck 42 winners while Wozniacki would only connect with 10 winners and no aces for the entire match.
In the second women’s semifinal to be played Thursday, the second seeded Kim Clijsters of Belgium defeated the third seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-3, 6-3.
Li, who is 11-0 in 2011 match play, defeated Clijsters 7-6(7-3), 6-3 two weeks ago in the Sydney WTA Tour tournament final.
Today’s opening semifinal set was only the third set Li has lost this year.
Clijsters has not lost a set in six matches at Melbourne.