Posts Tagged ‘Li Na

15
Mar
12

Kerber jumps into the top 15 and will present Azarenka with a tough challenge in the semifinal.

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Angelique Kerber lit up center court at the BNP Paribas Open, grinding out a 47-minute first set then cruising past No.8 seed Li Na in the second set to reach the semifinals. The No.18-seeded Kerber had lost all three of the pair’s previous matches, but after toughing out the lengthy first set, which could have gone either way as Li held a point to make it 5-all, Kerber had little trouble in the second set, winning the last five games – and last 11 points – to prevail under the lights, 64 62. “She was playing very tough, so I just tried to move very well and hit deep, just play aggressive tennis and focus on me,” Kerber said. “I knew I had to be focused until the last point, though – the last two matches I was match point down and won, so I knew I needed to be focused until the last point today.” Kerber recorded her third career Top 10 win, having gotten her first two just last month in Paris (against Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli). Now she will take on the World No.1, though, a semifinal clash with Victoria Azarenka. “I have nothing to lose in the next match,” Kerber said of the looming semifinal. “I will go out there, try to play my tennis and focus on myself like today. But also I’m going to try to enjoy myself out there, and try to beat her, of course.” Kerber, who will crack the Top 15 by virtue of this result, is quietly becoming a household name.

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08
Feb
12

Injuries continue to plague Jelena Jankovic as she withdraws from GDF Suez Open.

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French Open champion Li Na and former world number one Jelena Jankovic were both forced to retire due to injuries from the first round of the GDF Suez Open in Paris. Third seed Li trailed Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova 7-6 (7/5) 3-2 when she was forced to withdraw with a back injury. Jankovic, the fourth seed, pulled out prior to her match against Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer with a thigh strain.

There were no such problems for German sixth seed Julia Goerges, who needed just 51 minutes to beat Israel’s Shahar Peer 6-1 6-3, or ninth seed Angelique Kerber, who beat Lucie Safarova 6-2 7-6 (7-3). Another German, qualifier Mona Barthel, pulled off a fine 6-3 6-2 win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, while there were also wins for Chanelle Scheepers, Petra Cetkovska and Petra Martic.

02
Feb
12

Li said, “I really can’t go or be alone anywhere” as she lamented over her superstar status in China.

Li Na dominated host team China’s 3-0 victory over cross-straits challenger Chinese Taipei on Thursday with her own decisive 62 60 singles win against Kai Chen Chang in Pool A of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group I event. An overflow throng of partisan spectators waited intently for Li’s match to begin and were not left dangling as China’s No. 1 player solidly delivered the goods on centre court in her straight sets triumph. The final result never seemed to be in doubt as every move Li made was watched with spellbound fascination by the Shenzhen crowd. Li reaches superstar status. During the post-match press conference, and in front of a massive Chinese media horde, Li was reluctant to speak of her chances at the upcoming London Olympics and instead was surprisingly reflective how global fame and fortune has impacted her personal life.

Li seems trapped by her own on-court success, saying, “My personal life is no longer mine. I can’t do anything without people now wanting to come up to me, touch me, sign an autograph or even buy me dinner”. She did say that on-court success and media attention has led to, “a groundswell of interest by millions of budding young female tennis players across China and I am pleased to be an ambassador of tennis in China. There is bright future for this sport in China,” she concluded. Perhaps reflective of her feelings towards the gigantic media pack following her in Shenzhen, Li quickly headed for the exit immediately following the post-match press conference.

 

12
Jan
12

Li Na upsets Kvitova’s hope of becoming #1.

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It was also a day of upsets in the men’s draw as top seed Juan Martin Del Potro and third seed Richard Gasquet both went out in the quarter-finals. Argentinian Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, went down 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 to Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. Frenchman Gasquet also crashed out in straight sets with Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan claimed a 6-4 7-6 (7/4) victory. Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen swept aside American Bobby Reynolds 6-3 6-3, while France’s Julien Benneteau beat Alex Bogomolov Jr of Russia 6-2 6-4.

Petra Kvitova’s hopes of replacing Caroline Wozniacki as world number one before the start of the Australian Open were ended by defeat to Li Na in the semi-finals of the Sydney International. The Czech second seed would have taken top spot from the Dane, who crashed out on Wednesday, by winning the tournament. But Chinese fourth seed Li, the French Open champion and Australian Open finalist last year, came from a set down to clinch a 1-6 7-5 6-2 in just under two hours. Wimbledon champion Kvitova looked on course for a routine win when she broke three times to take the first set, but she was made to pay for not taking her chances as she wasted seven break points in the second. Li converted the two she carved out and stepped up a level in the decider to claim victory.

She will take on Belorussian Victoria Azarenka in the final after the third seed saw off Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska. The seventh seed was unable to repeat her success against Wozniacki as Azarenka also responded to dropping a one-sided first set to win 1-6 6-3 6-2.

 

 

 

 

 

31
Dec
11

France defeats China on day one of the Hopman Cup.

Li Na did her bit but it wasn’t enough to lift China to victory in their Hopman Cup teams tennis clash with France in Perth on Saturday. Li came from a set down to defeat world No.9 Marion Bartoli 2-6 6-2 6-4 in the women’s singles but was forced to watch on helplessly as compatriot Wu Di was crushed 6-1 6-3 by Richard Gasquet in the men’s singles. France then romped to victory in the deciding mixed doubles, with Bartoli and Gasquet needing just 42 minutes to sweep to the 6-1 6-1 triumph. Earlier, Bartoli appeared on track for a straight-sets win in the women’s singles after taking the first set in 44 minutes before setting up two break points early in the second set. But Li, who has struggled to recapture top form since winning the French Open earlier this year, showed far more urgency from that point on, winning the last four games of the second set before grinding down Bartoli in the decider.

“At the beginning of the match she was playing so fast. I was like ‘what’s going on’,” Li said. “But after three or four games I got used to it.” Li said her French Open success in May had changed her life in so many ways, but may have also adversely affected her performances. “If I go somewhere to play a tournament, more people know who I am. I lose concentration on the court. I’m only focusing on the photo shooting,” she said with a laugh. “It’s tough after winning a big title, (maintaining) the concentration.”

Australia’s unseeded pairing of Lleyton Hewitt and Jarmila Gajdosova kick off their campaign on Sunday against third-seeded Spaniards Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues.

26
Oct
11

Maria Sharapova has pulled out of the WTA Tour Championships.

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The Russian was beaten by China’s Na Li 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in her second White Group match to leave her with little hope of qualifying for the semi-finals. Afterwards it was announced that she was withdrawing from the rest of the event due to an ankle injury that has troubled her in recent weeks. “The ankle didn’t recover as well as I had hoped after my first match,” she said. “It limits my movement a lot and it’s not something I really want to risk. “I tried to push it as much as I could but I think it was a little too soon.” The 24-year-old had led 4-1 at one stage in the opening set and then also took the first four points in the tie break, only to then subside in a hurry. Li surged 5-2 ahead in the second before she suffered an attack of the jitters, losing the next two games to leave her just one clear. The French Open champion then slipped 15-40 behind in her next service game before regaining her composure, claiming victory at the first attempt when her opponent hammered a backhand return far too long. Sharapova’s early exit means that Caroline Wozniacki is now certain to finish 2011 as world number one. However, the Dane was unable to celebrate with a victory in her match, going down 6-2 4-6 6-3 against Vera Zvonareva to leave the Red Group wide open. Samantha Stosur, who had beaten Sharapova on the opening day of action in Istanbul, also lost on Wednesday. The Australian was simply unable to hit the same heights as she had managed 24 hours earlier, going down 6-2 6-2 to Victoria Azarenka. However, the reigning US Open champion could still qualify for the knockout stages, provided she gets the better of fellow grand slam winner Li in her last round-robin match. “It was a quick turnaround, but I felt like I was ready to go,” said Stosur afterwards. “It just wasn’t fast or crisp enough. I felt like I got pushed around the court.” Azarenka, the fourth seed, broke four times to win in one hour and 18 minutes and take her career head-to-head record against Stosur to 5-0. She next faces Wozniacki in a crucial match for both players, on Thursday.

 

 

30
Aug
11

Li Na crashes out, Schiavonne scrapes through, and Ivanovic has her blood pressure checked…..just a normal day at the US Open!

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Twenty-four hours after Kvitova had crashed out at the hands of Alexandra Dulgheru, Chinese star Li went down 6-2 7-5 to her Romanian compatriot, Simona Halep. A surprise winner on the Paris clay back in June, Li had proved her hardcourt credentials at the start of the season when she made the final of the Australian Open. However, Flushing Meadows did not prove to be to her liking. Halep dominated the first set and when she moved a break up in the second, the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd sensed a shock. The sixth seed managed to get back on level terms but then lost her serve again at 5-5 before Halep served out.

Seventh seed Francesca Schiavone, last year’s French Open champion, had to fight hard to avoid a similar upset against Galina Voskoboeva, of Kazakhstan. Schiavone started well enough but went off the boil in the second set before scrapping to a 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory. A total of 16 double faults did not help the Italian’s cause and she will need to improve to stand any chance of contending in New York.

There was also a scare for Ana Ivanovic, the former French Open champion seeded 16 at this event. She had to have her blood pressure taken during her clash with Ksenia Pervak but recovered to post a 6-4 6-2 win. Ivanovic, who was a break down early on in the match, has never been beyond last 16 in New York.

 

 

25
Aug
11

Bartoli and Li Na struggle to win in New Haven.

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Fourth seed Marion Bartoli served a staggering 10 double faults but prevailed in an error-strewn match against Klara Zakopalova. The Frenchwoman could convert only six of her 21 break points but enjoyed more success on her serve as she won 6-2 2-6 6-1.

Li Na had a good workout as she continues her preparation for the US Open as she beat Maria Kirilenko in the second round of the New Haven Open. Both women produced five aces and three double faults but the Chinese player, seeded sixth at Flushing Meadows, had more success on her serve as she beat the Russian 6-4 7-6 (7/4) in a tussle lasting a little over an hour and three quarters.  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, seeded eighth, eased through 6-2 6-4 against Roberta Vinci although the Russian produced five double faults. Anabel Medina Garrigues edged a hard-fought match against Elena Vesnina 6-2 7-6 (7/5).

 

 

16
Aug
11

Jankovic, Li Na & Serena advance to round 2 in Cinci.

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Serena Williams continued where she left off in winning the Rogers Cup last week as she barged past Lucie Hradecka in straight sets to reach the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Williams needed one hour and 39 minutes to complete her 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory and book a second-round tie against Samantha Stosur, whom she beat in the Toronto final. Stosur beat qualifier Eleni Daniilidou 6-3 6-1. Jelena Jankovic, the 13th seed, advanced with a 6-0 6-3 win over Iveta Benesova, while there were also early wins for Russian pair Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko, plus 17th seed Yanina Wickmayer and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta.

In the only women’s second-round action, fifth seed Li Na, playing her first match since her shock Wimbledon loss to Sabine Lisicki, enjoyed a comfortable 6-3 6-4 win over Czech Lucie Safarova.

 

 

09
Aug
11

Li Na is welcomed by the Asian community in Markham.

 

Li Na, the first-ever Asian player to claim a singles Grand Slam title, made an appearance at Pacific Mall in Markham on Saturday and was welcomed by throngs of adoring fans. Before Li’s scheduled appearance, hundreds of fans had already filled the Centre Court of the mall awaiting the arrival of the 2011 French Open champion. They chanted her name as she made her way to the front, and she opened by thanking everyone for coming, and said she was overwhelmed by all of the support. The 29-year-old, who has become a star not only in her home country of China but all over the world since claiming her first Grand Slam crown, signed autographs for the fans, took photos and participated in a 15-minute Q& A session. As the No. 6 seed at Rogers Cup, Li has a first-round bye. She is currently scheduled to play her second-round match on Wednesday afternoon.




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