In a year of surprises, from Roger Federer's 17th Grand Slam title and Andy Murray's first major victory to Serena Williams' Golden Slam, the biggest story with Chinese tennis was still Li Na playing herself in 2012. The superstar, who became the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam title at the French Open last year, has been flying the Chinese flag in world tennis and will possibly do it in years to come. Despite great efforts, Li's compatriot players hardly took inspirations from the pioneer or made breakthrough in the past season. In the gradually tennis-crazy country, Li is still in a class of her own or "playing myself" as mentioned in her bestselling autobiography. Her Chinese language autobiography entitled Du Zi Shang Chang, which literally means "Playing Myself", was published this summer. After the French Open triumph, Li had struggled to adjust to her new status as a major champion.
Li's title drought this season was finally ended after she hired new coach Carlos Rodriguez. Li's surge towards the end of the 2012 season reached climax when she was back into top eight elite and qualified for the season-ending WTA Championships.
The 30-year-old would like to prolong her association with Rodriguez, who famously guided Justine Henin to seven Grand Slam titles.
Li's Slam-winning feat has been expected to spur the development of tennis in China, but given the performances of her compatriot players in the past season, there's a long way to go. Zheng Jie, a former Grand Slam doubles winner and the current Chinese number two, started the season with her fourth title in career in an Auckland event, but after that Zheng failed to make more splash and finally ranked 26th in the world.


The much younger Peng Shuai also had an inconsistent season and had to settle with a 40th place finish on the world rankings. In men's part, the Chinese players made some progress in 2012, raising hopes that China's struggling men could finally emerge from the shadows of their women's tennis stars. Zhang Ze and Wu Di both broke into the Top 200 for the first time, ranked 158th and 183rd respectively. Zhang made history in the China Open in October when he became the first Chinese man ever to beat a top 20 player, with a three-sets win over Richard Gasquet which put him into the China Open quarterfinals.
His defeat of the Frenchman, then ranked 14th, also meant China's number one got further in an ATP tournament than any other Chinese man in 17 years, after Pan Bing made the Seoul semifinals in 1995.
Wu also made history by winning a wild card into the 2013 Australian Open and becoming the first Chinese male player in the Open Era to contest a Grand Slam main draw. In a year of surprises, from Roger Federer's 17th Grand Slam title to Serena Williams' Golden Slam, the biggest story with Chinese tennis was still Li Na playing herself in 2012.
Se mudou para estudar em Paris, onde por costume, corria atrás dos bichos que encontrava na cidade.
Li Na of China returns a ball during the women's singles quarterfinal against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, on Oct. The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced on Friday that China's Li Na has secured the eighth and final singles berth at this year's WTA Championships, which will be staged in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 23-28.
For the first time in the WTA Championships' 42-year history, each player in the singles draw will represent a different country: Victoria Azarenka (Belarus), Maria Sharapova (Russia), Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland), Serena Williams (United States), Angelique Kerber (Germany), Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic), Sara Errani (Italy) and Li Na (China).


During the US Open Series this year, Li won 10 matches in 11 days to win her sixth career WTA singles title at the Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati) and finish runner-up at Rogers Cup (Montreal). The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced on Friday that China's Li Na has secured the eighth and final singles berth at this year's WTA Championships. In her first tournament after joining forces with him (despite communicating with him only electronically), she reached the final in Montreal. I was happy to have him because I think he is a positive person and gives a lot of positive things for all the team," said Li. We have played tennis together since our junior years, we've been like brothers," said Wu, who defeated Zhang en route to winning the wild card. She is 30 years old now but still in the Top 10, competing with girls much younger than herself.
She focuses so hard on tennis, from every minute of a training session, to what to eat and drink and when to sleep.




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