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Li Na’s win at French Open historic for country of China

 

Li Na (file photo)

Li Na became the first chinese tennis player, male or female, to win a Grand Slam singles title. She beat defending champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-4, 7-6 (0) at Roland Garros home of the French Open in Paris.

The sixth-seeded Li Na used her powerful groundstrokes game to score a 31-12 advantage in winners and won the last nine points of the match, all after fifth-seeded Schiavone got upset over a line call and never recovered.

With the win Li Na has risen to #4 in the world of women’s tennis.

Li Na is the first woman from China, a nation of more than 1 billion people, to win a WTA singles title, the first to enter the top 10 and the first to make it to a Grand Slam final; she lost to Kim Clijsters at the Australian Open in January.

Li Na was given the freedom by the Chinese government’s sports system over three years ago to choose her own coach and schedule. She also was allowed to keep most of her earnings from playing tennis. Before 2008, she had to turn over 65 percent to the government and now she gives up just around 12 percent.

In China, tennis is an elite sport eventhough it trails basketball, soccer and table tennis in popularity.

 

compiled from staff, Radio, TV, WTA Tour & tennis publications news

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