By Josh Kramer
For those of you who don’t know Li Na, get to know her. Li Na is a 29-year-old professional women’s tennis player out of China who has been around the block to say the least. She is defying all logic at this point in her career though. Most players get worse with age, to a certain degree. By your late 20s in tennis, especially on the women’s side, you become a dinosaur. An extinct presence of sorts.
Francesca Schiavone became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title a year ago. Well, Li Na is finally just hitting her stride in becoming the first Chinese woman ever to capture a Grand Slam singles title. A career that has been defined by a plethora of injuries is finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let me introduce you to this year’s French Open Women’s champion.
Li Na has never been a player to follow the norm. She has always marched to the beat of her drum. Her playing style for example is very unusual, especially for a female player. She favors her backhand stroke, which is odd and she struggles to keep rallies alive at times. The women’s game in the past has been defined by players that thrive due to their consistency and ability to win long, tiring, rallies from the baseline. And today, Na continued to march to the beat of her own drum in knocking off Francesca Schiavone, the defending French Open champion. In capturing the title, Li Na will now go down in history as the first Chinese player ever to win a Grand Slam title. In addition, she has now entered the top 5 of the women’s game.
Talk about a great day for Chinese tennis. Talk about a great day for Li Na.
Li Na is your 2011 French Open champion. If you claim you saw this coming, you’re full of it. Get to know Li Na.
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