One other Chinese language Grand Slam champion due in subsequent decade

China will seemingly produce one other Grand Slam ladies’s champion within the subsequent decade, predicts Li Na, the one participant from her nation to style victory in any of tennis’s 4 greatest tournaments.

China will seemingly produce one other Grand Slam ladies’s champion within the subsequent decade, predicts Li Na, the one participant from her nation to style victory in any of tennis’s 4 greatest tournaments.

As Li prepares to mirror on her profession at her induction into the Tennis Corridor of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday, she has an eye fixed on the way forward for the game in her residence nation.

She mentioned the transfer of the WTA Finals to Shenzhen for the following decade — the primary time beginning in October — will encourage Chinese language gamers, even when they don’t seem to be enjoying the occasion.

“(Having the occasion in China is) not solely good for the followers, it’s additionally good for the athletes, particularly the younger athletes,” the twice Grand Slam champion instructed Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

“Face-to-face they’ll see the highest gamers. It’s not solely on the court docket but additionally off the court docket, the skilled tennis life (that’s essential).”

Till Japan’s Naomi Osaka received final 12 months’s U.S. Open, Li was the one Grand Slam winner from Asia, male or feminine, and she or he would be the first inducted into the Corridor of Fame.

China has 4 ladies ranked on the planet’s prime 100 however no males within the prime 200.

Unsurprisingly, Li mentioned it was extra seemingly a lady would win the nation’s subsequent Grand Slam.

“I feel the ladies’s aspect is far simpler as a result of after I received the Grand Slam, younger women assume they’ll do the identical,” she mentioned. “For the boys’s, it’s slightly bit robust.”

Li, 37, retired in 2014 after battling knee accidents for a number of years.

She is seven months youthful than Roger Federer and was glued to the tv within the wee hours of the evening in Beijing watching Sunday’s traditional five-set Wimbledon ultimate.

Li couldn’t imagine that Federer blew two match factors on serve in defeat to Novak Djokovic.

“I assumed, ‘OK, it’s over’,” she mentioned. “After watching the match I couldn’t fall asleep. It was like three o’clock within the morning. It was so thrilling.”

So what did she make of Djokovic’s comeback?: “Just one factor, how robust his thoughts is, so robust.”

Li by no means made it previous the quarter-finals on the grass of Wimbledon, her Grand Slam titles approaching clay on the 2011 French Open and hardcourt on the 2014 Australian Open.

She additionally misplaced two Australian Open finals, the primary in 2011, a match she surprisingly ranks as the perfect reminiscence of her profession regardless of defeat in three units to Kim Clijsters.

“I used to be actually near taking the trophy,” Li mentioned. “Despite the fact that I didn’t win the match, it nonetheless gave me a whole lot of confidence.”

Li mentioned her greatest profession efficiency didn’t come at a Grand Slam, nonetheless, however in Stuttgart, the place she beat Serena Williams 0-6 6-1 6-Four in 2008.

“Solely as soon as I beat Serena,” Li mentioned, laughing when requested whether or not Williams had been her hardest opponent. “Proper reply.”

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