Li Na of China hits a return to Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their women's quarter-final tennis match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne. Picture: Petar Kujundzic

Melbourne - China's Li Na wasted little time in advancing to her fourth Australian Open semi-final with a seemingly effortless 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Flavia Pennetta on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old, who has reached two of the last three finals at Melbourne Park, blasted the 28th-seeded Italian off the court in 66 minutes with a strong first serve and barrage of powerful ground strokes.

Pennetta's service game also fell apart, winning 25 of 54 points on her own serve in the entire match, which allowed Li to jump out to a 5-0 lead in the first set and 4-0 in the second.

Li clinched victory with a forehand winner to set up a semi-final against either 14th seed Ana Ivanovic or Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, seeded 30th. - Reuters