Li Na upbeat over Chinese tennis after reaching final

Li predicts influx of talent from her country after becoming first Chinese player to reach grand slam final

Li Na
Li Na (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

Li Na

Ninth seed Li Na came from a set down to stun world No1 Caroline Wozniacki and reach her first grand slam final at the Australian Open.

Li saved a match point before fighting back to seal a 3-6 7-5 6-3 win over her Danish opponent and set up a clash with third seed Kim Clijsters in Saturday’s final.

The 28-year-old world No7 is the first Chinese player to reach a Major final and she hopes that her impressive run can inspire a new generation of talent in her home country.

She said: “I think possibly because I have got to the final, maybe young children will see that and think ‘maybe one day I can do the same or even better than her’.

“Perhaps also the authorities will start to look more at tennis. I know Chinese tennis is just starting but I hope that maybe after three or five years China, a bit like Russia, will have many players coming through.”

Clijsters booked her place in Sunday’s final after breezing past Russia’s Vera Zvonareva 6-3 6-3 in one hour and 13 minutes.

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