Sixth seed Li Na of China defeated former world number one Maria Sharapova in the French Open women's semi-final on Thursday. Li punished Sharapova 6-4 7-5 on a windy Parisian day, blowing away her dream of a career grand slam to set up a Roland Garros showdown with holder Francesca Schiavone, Reuters reported.

If Li manages to continue her winning momentum in the final against Schiavone, she will become the first Asian to win a grand slam singles title. Schiavone defeated Marion Bartoli with a relatively routine 6-3 6-3 win on court Philippe Chatrier.

Despite her never-say-die attitude that has got Sharapova out of many jams in the past, she never really recovered from a terrible start in the Thursday's encounter against Li. You obviously try to adjust, especially after you lose the first set. I still feel like I had my share of chances in the first set, and I just didn't take them, Sharapova said, Reuters reported.

With her powerful forehand Li cantered into a 3-0 lead breaking her opponent's serve twice, while Sharapova ended up with 10 double faults that contributed a big deal to put her on the back foot.