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One year since Li Na won the French Open

06-06-2012 10:41 BJT

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Li Na's campaign for a second French Open title ended on June 4th as she lost to Kazakhstan qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova 3-6, 6-2, 6-0.

From now, that date will have bitter sweet memories - as she remembers the day from 2011 when she became the first Asian player to win a grand slam singles title and the same date in 2012 when she lost in round four while trying to defend that crown.

A year ago, at centre court on Roland Garros, Li Na captured the hearts of more than a billion Chinese fans defeating defending champion Francesca Schiavone in the Women’s singles final.

The first Asian player crowned with one of tennis’s top honors, Li was now an international star, not just a Chinese national hero.

However, after that triumph she would struggle to find consistancy as she failed to win more than two matches in a row for the rest of the season.

At the 2011 Wimbeldon Championships, Li was eliminated in the second round by big-serving German Sabine Lisicki.

At the US Open later that year, she would fare even worse, losing to 53rd-ranked Simona Halep of Romania in the first round.

However, the Chinese player was in better form to start 2012.

Li began her Australian Open campaign by cruising through the early rounds with ease, en route to meeting her 2011 Australian Open Australian open conquerer Kim Clijsters in the 4th round.

Taking 4 match points in the second set tiebreak, Li dropped six consecutive points to concede the set and later the match.

With her confidence boosted, Li found her form on clay as she reached the Italian Open final in May, only to lose to Maria Sharapova in three sets.

Now dethroned as French Open in the fourth round, Li has failed to get past the fourth round in her last four grand slam events.

But the Chinese player seems at ease with the loss and is now concentrating her efforts on Wimbledon and the London Olympics.

Li said, "It will be my final Olympics. You never know what will happen in the next four years. In tennis, you have to stay at toP 60 to qualify for the Olympics."

Li is scheduled to come back to China following Wimbledon. Then she will leave for Germany for a week of physical training, before heading to London for the Olympics.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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