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

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
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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