Li Na returns a ball to Mattek-Sands in the semifinal of Stuttgart Grand Prix.
China's Li Na will face defending champion Maria Sharapova in the Stuttgart WTA final in a matchup of the last two French Open winners.
Li ended the amazing run of Bethanie Mattek-Sands, beating the American qualifier 6-4, 6-3 to set up a showdown with top seed Sharapova, who fought off Angelique Kerber in another semifinal.
The second-seeded Li got the deciding break in the first set for 3-2 and wrapped up the set with two winners in the 10th game.
Li broke serve for 2-1 in second set, only to lose the advantage in the very next game with a double-fault. But Mattek-Sands could not hold on, dropped her serve in the seventh game and double-faulted on Li's second match point.
"The match was pretty tight. She played good tennis," said Li, who had 28 winners to Mattek-Sands' 15.
The Australian Open runner-up will now look to improve on her past record against Sharapova, having lost eight of their previous 13 meetings.