Li Na Grand Slam!




French Open 2011 - Li Na

French Open 2011 – Li Na

How many of us know that Li Na, back home is badminton hopeful too? Well, apart from this she is first Chinese player to win the Grand Slam Singles Title too! It is not surprising that her rise to stardom has never been short of unconventional.

Even her 6-4, 7-6 (0) victory over defending champion Francesca Schiavone in Roland Garros on Saturday, when she became the first player from China to win a Grand Slam singles title, smacks of the improbable.

But Li did reach the Australian Open final at the start of the year when she lost to Kim Clijsters. But that defeat in Melbourne prompted an abysmal run of form, taking in four consecutive first-round defeats before she rediscovered her touch on clay, a surface she had previously avoided. The explanation for this startling turnaround lies largely with her own willingness to look outside the limits for solutions to her problems.

She definitely made a laudable fight for her stardom. First she replaced husband Jiang Shan as her coach and instead hired Dane Michael Mortensen, with her husband reduced to the role of hitting partner and cheerleader. That is typical of the ruthless mindset shown throughout her career.

Unaffected by the hurdles in the Chinese sports systems which lead to several clashes with officials; she got the reputation for being difficult. But yet she’s managed to do it her way and that way has worked in the end.

Yet it was a badminton racquet that kicked off Li’s sporting interest and career, with limited success. She then switched to tennis against her will when she was just nine years old.

“After I played two years, the badminton coach just told me, ‘you are not so good at playing badminton, because it looks like you should play tennis, so you should change for tennis’,” she recalled. “At the time, tennis was not so popular in China. After my family saw the court, they said, ‘okay, we’ll change’. I was like, ‘why you didn’t ask me?’”

Frustrated by her inability to reach the main draw of the Grand Slams, Li retired for two years in her early 20s when she studied journalism, but a plea to play in a national competition reignited her passion for the game. She defied Chinese convention by getting a tattoo — a red rose — on her chest and employed her husband as coach rather than using those provided by the China Tennis Association.

Li was also the first Chinese woman to win a WTA title in Guangzhou in 2004, the first to make a Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon two years later, and the first Chinese player to break into the world top 10. Her victory over Schiavone makes her the first Asian player to win a major and will see her ranked at a career-best fourth in the world. But her serious side also understands as she states “Of course after a first Chinese player can win the Grand Slam, it’s a little bit of proof for China tennis,” she said. “I still believe China tennis will be getting bigger and bigger.

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"If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.” - Jesse Jackson. Hello friends, I am Monica Mishra currently in my 3rd year B.Tech. in the field of Electronics and Telecommunication and I believe the above quote by Jackson to its every single word! Writing has been a hobby of mine since childhood while cricket has been a passion ever since I started understanding it! Motor racing interests me and am always enthralled by Football. Basketball is what I play and Tennis is what I like to watch. Hockey is a game I respect and Chess is a game I am 50% ignorant about! In short I am jack in sports knowledge and here to gain knowledge and refine my writing skills. Happy Reading!

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