MELBOURNE, Australia — Venus Williams advanced to the Australian Open quarterfinals for the seventh time to set up a meeting with Li Na, who helped make more Chinese history by reaching the last eight.
The sixth-seeded Williams beat Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 on Monday, recovering after dropping a set to the Italian for the first time since 2003.
Li upset No. 4-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, the US Open finalist, 6-3, 6-2 in a 98-minute match featuring 12 service breaks. Li held when it counted, saving three break points in an 11-minute opening game. She served it out in the last game, on her second match point.
Li's progress means there's two Chinese players in the quarterfinals of the same major for the first time. Zheng Jie, the 2008 Wimbledon semifinalist, is into the quarterfinals on the other half of the draw.
"Nothing better," Li said, smiling, "Yeah, I mean good for us. Both player come to quarterfinal."
In men's fourth-round matches, 2008 champion Novak Djokovic beat Poland's Lukasz Kubot 6-1, 6-2, 7-5. Kubot, who finished last season at No. 101, got a walkover into the second week when No. 20 Mikhail Youzhny withdrew from their third-round match with an injured wrist.
Li has already reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and went out at that stage in the last US Open. She beat Williams in the quarterfinals at the Beijing Olympics in their only previous meeting, but she wasn't drawing too much from that result here.
"It was good experience for me, for my tennis, also," Li said. "But I just want to forget, because I will play her again. So I didn't want always think about the last match. I want to look forward."
Williams has won seven singles majors and reached the final of the Australian Open in '03, losing to her younger sister Serena, in her best run at Melbourne Park.
The Williams are on track to meet in the semifinals here, with defending champion and No. 1-ranked Serena playing a fourth-round match later Monday against Australia's Sam Stosur. Serena has won four of her 11 Grand Slam singles titles in Australia.
Venus struggled to hold serve in the first set against Schiavone but was in command by the end, when she won the last six games after the 29-year-old Williams broke her to open the third set.
"Francesca was playing so well, she was so tenacious, she has so much speed," Williams said. "I had a little bit of a slow start."
Williams' win extended a streak in which at least one American woman has reached the Australian Open quarterfinals every year since 1977. (AP)