Li sees red for Olympics

2012-06-28 09:05

London - Li Na vowed to come back to Wimbledon wearing the Chinese colours with pride as she targets Olympic glory to silence her critics.

Li will be leading the Chinese charge at the All England Club for the 2012 London Games - and her second round defeat on Wednesday has given her an extra incentive to go for gold.

Li became the first Asian Grand Slam champion when she won the 2011 French Open but has failed to get past the fourth round in any of the five majors since.

"The next big one is the Olympics," the world number 11 said.

"I am looking forward to it. This is my last time to play for my country at the Olympics because I'm 30 already and you never know what will happen after four years.

"I really wish I can do well."

The usual clothing restrictions will be relaxed at the traditionalist All England Club for the Olympic tennis tournament, with players wearing the national colours instead of the regulation white.

"I'm also looking forward to seeing Wimbledon without people wearing white," she said.

"In the Olympics you can wear the country's colour to play in Wimbledon so I'm looking forward to seeing that.

"In more than 100 years nothing has changed here so maybe it's the only time in a lifetime you can see this with the colours."

Li's Grand Slam slump worsened as she tumbled out of Wimbledon with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

She said she did not care what her critics said following her failure to emulate her Roland Garros heroics in 2011.

"Last year I was feeling more pressure but this year I was feeling back to normal life," the Wuhan right-hander said.

"I just play my tennis. Why should I worry about what other people say?

"Last year I was very worried about that because after I didn't do well, so many people said I was lucky to win the French Open. They said I didn't beat a good player.

"But I don't care. This is a big story in my whole life but after the French Open was over, it was over. I can only look forward."

Li, Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie will represent China at the Olympics in both singles and doubles.

Peng and Zheng are still in the Wimbledon singles, having both made it through to the third round.

Zheng, seeded 25th, reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2008, but hasn't been past the second round since then.

The 28-year-old takes on Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak, for a place in the last 32.

Peng, the 30th seed, faces Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, who knocked out Australian fifth seed Sam Stosur, the reigning US Open champion, for a place in the last 16.

She defeated Japan's Ayumi Morita 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 on Wednesday to book her place.