Australian Open

China praises persistent Li

2013-01-27 10:06
Li Na (AP)

Beijing - Chinese newspapers and Internet users on Sunday heaped praise on tennis star Li Na for her pluck and persistence despite her defeat in the women's final of the Australian Open.

Li lost a three-set match against Belarusian world No 1 Victoria Azarenka on Saturday. She suffered two dramatic falls during the match and later said one of them briefly knocked her unconscious.

But Li's "calm and comfortable reaction and bright smile left an even deeper impression on us" than her two falls, the Wuhan Evening News, published in her home city in central China, said following the match.

"Before the game nobody estimated she would go so far," the paper said, adding that her opponent was "too powerful, talented and tenacious".

Other reports joined the chorus of praise for Li, who has "a fighter's heart," according to the popular website Sina Sports. "At this point, Li Na can be prouder than the victor," it said.

The Henan Evening News praised Li, 30, for her performance as one of the older players in top-flight women's tennis, saying: "That (Li) is still full of competitiveness is itself a miracle".

Internet users voiced support for Li on social networking websites. "Great stuff, Li Na, although you lost, you are glorious," said one user of Sina Weibo, a website similar to Twitter.

Li, known for her humour and feisty personality, saw her profile massively boosted in China after a historic victory at the French Open in 2011, when she became the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Online comments following Saturday's final also referred to Li's rocky relationship with China's sports authorities, which led to her leaving the state-run Chinese Tennis Association to choose her own coach and schedule.

"Li Na is an idol with emotion and character, not the perfect kind of idol traditionally thought of in China, so the leaders don't like her - but we all love her," one Sina Weibo user said.

Read more on:    australian open  |  wta tour  |  li na  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.