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Li Na defeats Dominika Cibulkova in 3 sets to reach semifinals at Indian Wells

Dominika Cibulkova, of Slovakia, returns a shot to Li Na, of China, during a quarterfinal match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dominika Cibulkova, of Slovakia, returns a shot to Li Na, of China, during a quarterfinal match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

Li Na defeated Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a rematch of their Australian Open final, moving the Chinese star into the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Li, who beat Cibulkova to win her second Grand Slam title in January, dropped her first set in four matches on Thursday while improving to 15-1 this year. Li is playing her first major tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Sloane Stephens, the lone American woman left in the field, plays Flavia Pennetta later Thursday, with the winner advancing to face Li in the semis. No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep meet in the other semifinal Friday.