Thursday, January 27, 2011


Li Na broke new ground for China on Thursday, fighting back to topple world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-5 6-3 and become her country’s first grand slam finalist at the Australian Open.

Everybody had picked the entirely dull Dane to win the title.

Which made watching Li Na come back from match points down even more delicious than usual.

With the largest population in the world, China has yet to produce many serious tennis contenders. Peng Shai did very well on the women's side in Melbourne these past two weeks, but I can't think of a male tennis player who has broken through to the top ranks.

It happened in golf and it will no doubt happen soon enough in tennis.

It's hard to bet against the delightful, charming and down-to-earth Kim Clijsters (so many tennis players are certifiable flakes and nut cases, that Clijsters stands out not only for her superior play, but also for her grounded personality), but Li Na is a gutsy and talented player and she has an honest shot at this Slam title on Saturday night.

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