The Australian Open 2014 women's final live stream and televised matchup will be shown Saturday morning for United States viewers with Li Na vs. Dominika Cibulkova. The big story for both the men's and women's sides of the latest edition of this tournament has been the early exit of some of the biggest names around. For the men, they've included Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, while even more shocking has been the early elimination of No. 1 women's seed Serena Williams. That leaves two potential new champions for 2014, as the latest televised and live stream Australian Open tennis action arrives on early Saturday morning via ESPN networks.
As SI.com website reported on Jan. 24, this marks Dominika Cibulkova's first-ever Gram Slam final. Some believe that with the No. 20 seed the only one left standing in Li Na's way, it is a clear path to winning the title. The 31-year-old Li was in the Australian Open finals in both 2011 and 2013, but has yet to capture the title at Melborune. Li lost to Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka, respectively, failing to win the championship.
Making things "easier" for her this edition of the tournament, is that fact that not only No. 1 seed Serena Williams lost, but also other top seeds such as No. 6 Petra Kvitova and No. 9 Angelique Kerber. As the twentieth seed in the tournament, Cibulkova is actually Li's first top-25 opponent of the Australian Open. The No. 4 seed told the media with regards to her good fortune:
"I really feeling after the match [against Safarova] I was getting second life in this tournament. In China, we say if you have a tough time, you pass that, it means you be so lucky. Or maybe they give me back [the luck] from last year, I don’t know."
That "second life" refers to the fact that Li nearly lost to No. 26 Lucie Safarova on a match point in the third round. However, Safarova's shot was about "five centimeters" long, and with that Li was able to continue on and eventually grab the victory from her. Now she'll try to outlast the rest of the high seeds who fell victim to underdog upsets during this interesting edition of the tournament.
On the other hand, everyone loves the underdog upset story, and that would be Dominika Cibulkova at this stage of the tournament. The 5-foot-3 Slovakian surprise star is currently ranked No. 24 in women's tennis and upset No. 5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 6-2 to arrive to the final. Prior to that, she defeated No. 11 Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0, and Maria Sharapova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, giving her several major upsets already. Since she's now defeated the No. 3 and No. 5 seeds of this tournament, only the No. 4 remains to complete the "trifecta" of major upsets en route to her first ever Australian Open title.
Head-to-head Li has dominated Cibulkova, winning all four of their matchups. The two last played in the 2013 Rogers Cup in Toronto, with Li emerging victorious 7-6(1), 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Prior to that, Li won 6-1, 7-6(4) in a meeting between the two in Rome at the WTA Internazionali BNL d'Italia. For their latest matchup in Melbourne, odds makers have Li at -260 as the favorite, while underdog Dominika Cibulkova has a price of +210 for bettors looking to take her as the victor.
The Australian Open women's finals between Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova has a scheduled time of 3:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time in the United States. This match will be televised for U.S. viewers on cable or satellite TV via ESPN in standard and hi-definition formats. Additionally, this matchup will be live streaming online courtesy of the ESPN3 broadband sports network. See more info here for any restrictions by device or regional blackouts for this Australian Open women's finals match.