Li Na is First Chinese Player to Reach Grand Slam Final
China has made a breakthrough in the sport of tennis: Li Na is slated to be the first Chinese national playing in a Grand Slam singles final. The 28-year-old Wuhan native ousted the world’s current number one Caroline Wozniacki in three sets (3-6, 7-5, 6-3), meaning Li now advances to the championship match of the Australian Open.
Li will be facing Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who is “heavily favored going into the final, having reached that stage a total of seven times and won three major titles,” notes the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ also reports:
A place in tennis history will surely rank high among Ms. Li’s motivations to do well on Saturday, but when asked what got her through critical moments of her semifinal, Ms. Li didn’t hesitate. “Prize money,” she said jokingly.
Or perhaps not so jokingly. Whoever comes out the victor this Saturday will receive $2.19 million U.S. dollars, the highest cash-out in Grand Slam history.
As of January 31, 2011, Li is ranked number seven in the world. Previously, she had reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon (2006, 2010) and the US Open (2009).
[via The Globe and Mail]
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TAGS: Athletic Competitions • Australian Open • Caroline Wozniacki • First Chinese player in Grand Slam • Li Na
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