News24

Li thrashes Rogowska

2012-01-18 07:29

Melbourne - China's Li Na rubbed salt into the wounds of local fans still smarting from sixth seed Sam Stosur's first-round exit by thrashing Australian Olivia Rogowska to make the third round at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

A year after pushing Kim Clijsters in the tension-charged final, the 29-year-old French Open champion had only 62 minutes to savour her return to Rod Laver Arena, but lapped it up on the way to a neat 6-2 6-2 demolition of Rogowska.

"Actually it feels really good to be back. I've got such great memories of last year and you can't help but think 'Ah, this court'," Li told reporters in Chinese.

"Of course you can lose at a court and come back and have bad memories, but this time, it's a good feeling."

The temperamental Li, Asia's first grand slam champion, suffered a crisis of confidence following her triumph at Roland Garros and finished the year dismally with early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open.

The swagger has returned at Melbourne Park, however, following a month-long training camp in Germany and a run to the final of the Sydney International in the leadup.

Against Rogowska, a 168th-ranked 20-year-old pushed out onto centre court with a wildcard, Li was still in boot-camp mode as she socked forehand blows deep into the corners and hustled like a prize-fighter.

Landing nearly 80 percent of her serves, Li captured the decisive break at 3-2 in the second set when Rogowska slapped a forehand wide before closing out the match quickly. Li will next face a third-round encounter with Spanish 26th-seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, who thrashed Belarusian Olga Govortsova 6-1 6-0.

Li has lost all four of her tour matches to Medina Garrigues but three of them were on clay.

"I like her legs," Medina Garrigues, who lost to Li in straight sets at the Hopman Cup in Perth, said.

"I think at this moment with Kim Clijsters, (Li) has the best movement on the tour.

"I know she don't like the Spanish game with the spin, I know she likes it fast and flat. I'm going to talk to my coach to get a good plan to beat her."


Reuters