China’s Li Na completed a straight-sets victory over Angelique Kerber on Thursday to keep alive her chances of making the WTA Championships semifinals.
Li won 6-4, 6-3 to dump the German out of the $4.9 million season-ending event and will advance if she beats world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka on Friday.
Kerber, making her first appearance at the championships, was also defeated by Azarenka and Serena Williams, bringing an end to the best year of her career to date.
Kerber broke Li’s first two serves but couldn’t maintain that standard of play, losing the first set with her sixth double fault.
The Chinese 30 year old controlled the second set and finished off her opponent with her fourth ace of the match to go 6-1 up in head-to-heads.
Kerber, 24, has won two titles this year, in Copenhagen and Paris, and is now standing at her career-high fifth place in WTA rankings, soaring from No. 32 at the end of 2011.