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firefly_ac
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:09 AM
Tennis-Li makes Chinese rankings history by reaching top 30


By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING, June 19 (Reuters) - Li Na became the first Chinese singles player to breach the top 30 in the world on Monday and looks set to become her country's first seed in the singles draw of a grand slam tournament later this week.

The 24-year-old righthander moved up two places to 30th in the WTA entry rankings after making it into the third round of the Edgbaston grasscourt tournament last week, where she lost to Russian Maria Sharapova.

With the start of the Wimbledon championships just a week away, Wuhan-born Li is almost certain to be one of the 32 seeds at the grasscourt grand slam as the All England Club tend to follow the WTA rankings for the women's draw.

Li, who has never played at the grasscourt grand slam before, was the first Chinese woman to win a WTA tour title when she triumphed as a qualifier at Guangzhou in October 2004.

The previous highest singles ranking for a Chinese woman was held by Peng Shuai, who was 31st in the world in August last year.

While China's women have been a force of sorts in doubles for some time -- Li Ting and Sun Tiantian won gold at the 2004 Olympics while Zheng Jie and Yan Zi claimed the Australian Open title in January -- they have made good progress on the singles front this year.

Although they cannot challenge the 13 Russians and 11 Americans in the top 100, there are now six Chinese women ranked 100 or better with Zheng seven places behind Li and 20-year-old Peng still inside the top 50 at 41st.

Zheng, who will be 23 next month, won her second career title at Estoril last month after Li was forced to withdraw injured during the first all-Chinese singles final in WTA tour history.

China's tennis success has been exclusively female, however, and the highest-ranked men's player is Yu Wang at a lowly 351st in the world.


My fave chinese pro! esp after watching her defeat Patty in Germany :bounce:

SAEKeithSerena
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:37 AM
huge accomplishment, great job!

SAEKeithSerena
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:37 AM
huge accomplishment, great job!

1star
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:53 AM
In May last year Li's ranking reached top 33, firstly broke Chinese rankings histroy of top 36 maintained by LI Fang.
Unfortunately she got injured and missed FO and WO etc. Otherwise we might be celebriating her top 25 or 20 now.

Keep going and reach top 20 asap!!! :bounce:

andrewC
Jun 19th, 2006, 02:48 PM
My fave chinese pro! esp after watching her defeat Patty in Germany :bounce:


I wish i got to see that match, i don't have satellite television and no one seems to have that match to upload :tears:

Libertango
Jun 19th, 2006, 03:11 PM
In May last year Li's ranking reached top 33, firstly broke Chinese rankings histroy of top 36 maintained by LI Fang.
Unfortunately she got injured and missed FO and WO etc. Otherwise we might be celebriating her top 25 or 20 now.

Keep going and reach top 20 asap!!! :bounce:

Of course the Chinese National Games didn't help either, last year. But it means that Na has very few points to defend this year, so she can get higher and higher! Go Na!

RenaSlam.
Jun 19th, 2006, 03:14 PM
Congrats to Na Li! Best hopes for a bright future!

Vut
Jun 19th, 2006, 04:37 PM
:yeah:

vwfan
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:48 PM
congrats Li!