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.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monica Mishra

Author:

“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!

Cricket

India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test: Can Sri Lanka topple India or will Kohli’s men continue the domination

India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test: Can Sri Lanka topple India or will Kohli’s men continue the domination

Posted by: Suraj Shukla on December 2nd, 2017

What happened earlier? When Sri Lanka came to India for the series, nobody gave them much of a chance. India had earlier visited the Island and whitewashed them ..

Football

ISL 2017: Mumbai City FC eye fresh start against in-form FC Goa

ISL 2017: Mumbai City FC eye fresh start against in-form FC Goa

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on November 25th, 2017

Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes believes his team is in much better shape to take on the might of FC Goa in their second round Hero Indian Super League ..

Tennis

Rafael Nadal vs Stan Wawrinka: French Open Men’s Final 2017 – Preview

Rafael Nadal vs Stan Wawrinka: French Open Men’s Final 2017 – Preview

Posted by: Atish Home Chowdhury on June 11th, 2017

The stage is set for the mouth-watering and nail-biting clash of the two Tennis stalwarts of the current era; Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka. This will be the u ..

F1

Life Lessons learned from Sports & Fitness #TOSBDay

Life Lessons learned from Sports & Fitness #TOSBDay

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on September 26th, 2016

Held on Sept 1st, The Outstanding Speakers’ Bureau (TOSB) Twinterview consisted of sports panelists such as Mark Gallagher (Public Speaker on F1 race), Shayam ..

Boxing

Boxing Federation of India successfully concludes AIBA Course and Examination

Boxing Federation of India successfully concludes AIBA Course and Examination

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on February 24th, 2017

Rohtak, February 24, 2016: In continuation to produce the AIBA certified Coaches, Referees and Judges; Boxing Federation of India successfully organised the AIB ..

Other Sports

Indian athletes begin impressively at 22nd Asian Athletics Championships

Indian athletes begin impressively at 22nd Asian Athletics Championships

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on July 6th, 2017

Indian interests on the opening day of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships were high with national record holder Muhammed Anas easing into the semi-finals of ..

One stop guide to all the latest sports news, reviews, opinions, fixtures and live scores from India and around the world.

Copyright © 2017 | The Sports Mirror