Na Li -Top Tennis Players

May 5, 2012

Tennis Players

  • Sumo

Name: Na Li

Birthdate: February 26, 1982   (30 years old)

Birthplace: Wuhan, China

Residence: Wuhan, China

Height: 5’8” (172 cm)

Weight: 143 lbs (65 kg)

Plays: Right-handed

Turned Pro: 2000 (13 yrs on tour)

Li NaNa Li, a vigorous and robust woman known for her astounding serve and return in the world of tennis shivered the world with her remarkable Grand Slam singles title which dethroned the defending Champion Francesca Schiavone in the 2011 French Open Finals.

This promising woman started her career as a badminton player trying to follow the footsteps of her dad. Just before she turned eight, Li decided to be part of the Wuhan Youth Tennis Club. And as her journey continues, she then joined China’s National Tennis Team in 1997 and turned pro in 1999. But Li had a surprising career move when she decided to quit tennis in the year 2002 to study part-time at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. However, the woman never lost her passion for tennis and returned to the national team by the year 2004.

By 2009, she completed her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2009.

Li often enters doubles tournaments at events alongside singles, and has won two WTA doubles titles and 16 further ITF doubles events. But recently she’s more of forming temporary women’s doubles partnerships with players with whom she has previously enjoyed a hale and hearty rivalry through repeated head-to-head meetings in singles tournaments, notably Liu Nan-Nan, Nicole Pratt, Yan Zi, Jelena Janković, and Peng Shuai. On one hand, she lost her luck when she suffered a two-year hiatus from competition in her early 20s; she lost several months at the height of the 2005 season to an ankle injury, and lost the second half of 2007 to a rib injury. This incapacitated her to play on court for lengthy periods.

But after her recovery, she hit the slam when she and her compatriot Zheng Jie reached the semifinals of the 2010 Australian Open in singles. They were the first Chinese players who had reached the semi-finals of a grand tournament in singles simultaneously. Moment after this event, Li became the first Chinese player in history (male or female) to achieve a top ten ranking as being the World’s Top No. 10. Then her career continued to move forward as she defeated the World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, 3–6, 7–5, 6–3 in the semifinals, saving a match point in the second set to reach her first grand slam singles final, and thus becoming the first Chinese player in history (male or female) to reach a grand slam final in singles. However, she lost to Kim Clijsters in three sets, 6–3, 3–6, and 3–6.

At the 2011 French Open, Li defeated Petra Kvitová 2–6, 6–1, 6–3 in the fourth round to become the first Chinese player in history (male or female) to reach the quarterfinals of all four grand slam events in singles. Li then defeated Victoria Azarenka 7–5, 6–2 and Maria Sharapova 6–4, 7–5 in the next two rounds to reach her second consecutive grand slam singles final where she defeated the defending champion, Francesca Schiavone, 6–4, 7–6 to win her first grand slam singles title, and thus become the first player from Asia to win a grand slam singles title. Li achieved a new career high ranking of World No. 4 following the event.

With her magnificent achievements, Li made a hard hit and was considered to be a hero by millions of Chinese people today. She became an inspiration to many young women who has the heart and compassion to go and hit the balls on the court.

Li Na Match Record

Singles Titles

2011: Sydney, Roland Garros
2010: Birmingham
2008: Gold Coast
2004: Guangzhou

Doubles Titles

2006: Birmingham 
2000: Tashkent

 

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