ITE HCMC 2014

ITE HCMC 2014

Sunday, 5 June 2011

French Open Winner 2011 Is Li Na From China

China, Li Na, from China has just won the final of the French Open against Francesca Schiavone. The Shanghai Daily newspaper headed a news story with “Li Na makes history in Paris”.

Li Na “My dream has finally come true. Let’s all make more effort together!” Li told fans, on her microblog on the popular Sina.com website. A headline on the website of People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, said, Li had “written an Asian legend.” Another headline in the Global Times newspaper said “History-making Li Na claimed the first-ever grand slam women’s singles title for China and Asia”.

The government’s Xinhua news agency said, Li becoming the first Asian to win a Grand Slam tournament “reflects China’s dynamism.” “Li Na has overtaken Yao Ming, Liu Xiang and Ding Junhui,” the agency said, referring to China’s three top sports personalities in recent years. Ding is a snooker champion, while Liu is a former world record holder and Olympic gold medallist in the men’s 110 metres hurdles.

“This win is truly a breakthrough in a sport that has been dominated mainly by players from Europe, Australia and America,” several reports quoted Sun Jinfang, the head of China’s tennis federation, as saying in Paris.

“It is a massive source of pride for all the Asians and it can serve as a great milestone for the development of Chinese tennis,” Sun said after watching Li. “She is a new image of Chinese sport.” After her semi-final victory over Maria Sharapova on Thursday, some Chinese media had hailed Li as the “Number One Sister” of Chinese sport, with the Global Times praising her “Chinese fighting spirit.” She has become a favourite of the Chinese media since she reached the final of the Australian Open in January, when she lost to Kim Clijsters.

Earlier state media commentaries said the success of Li, who is also known as a “golden flower”, was likely to promote “tennis fever” in the nation of 1.3 billion people.

Li was among a group of outstanding women’s tennis players, including fellow WTA player Zheng Jie, who were nicknamed the Golden Flowers by state media after Li Ting and Sun Tiantian won gold in the women’s doubles at the Sydney Olympics, in 2004. Li and three other Golden Flowers - Zheng Jie, Peng Shuai and Yan Zi - formally ended their state contracts in 2009 to become independent professionals. During the 2010 Australian Open, Li and compatriot Zheng Jie made history for becoming the first two Chinese players to reach the top four of a Grand Slam tournament simultaneously.

The number of state-registered tennis players mushroomed from a few hundred in 2004 to about 3,000 last year, while the estimated number who regularly play the sport grew from 2 million to 30 million over the same period, China Daily reported.

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