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Tech1
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:25 PM
Give young right to choose: Li

By Yu Yilei (China Daily)

Updated: 2009-04-15 08:04

China's tennis ace and former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Li Na has called on national sports administrators to give young players more "right to choose".

"Just give them the right to choose," Li told China Daily before traveling to Germany to prepare for China's Fed Cup tie and the ensuing clay-court season.

"If I had an opportunity to choose what I wanted to do in childhood, I wouldn't go for tennis. It is a sport that I was always pushed to do, first by my parents, then provincial and national sports administrators."

Li, together with Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie, Zheng's Grand Slam doubles title winning partner Yan Zi and Peng Shuai, became the only four Chinese tennis players to leave the state-supported system at the end of last year.

The quartet all appreciated the privilege to become self-managed athletes still under the national flag.

Since then, Li and Zheng have enjoyed a shining success.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/attachement/jpg/site1/20090415/0013729e4a9d0b4f6f4336.jpg
The 27-year-old Li, coming back from a knee injury, lifted herself from outside the top 50 to currently sit at 31 in the world rankings, while Zheng, 26, has just equaled Li's record as the highest ranked Chinese player, coming in 16 in the newly-released Sony Ecrisson WTA Tour standings.

Peng also shot up the rankings to 35, only four spots lower than her personal best in August 2005.

Yan is the only one of the four who has failed to improve.

In a stark contrast, she has hit a new low, dropping out of the top 200.

The outspoken Li spoke frankly about her preference for going solo, a rare occurrence for Chinese athletes, although she admitted facing more "life pressure than before", having to pay all expenses formerly picked up by the State.

"I love what it is right now. In the past, national or the provincial sports administrators arranged everything for you and you have no options but to follow their arrangements," said the Wuhan native.

The traditional sports training system in China, often overbearing and rigid, has helped the nation achieve many sporting miracles, such as most gold medals at the Beijing Olympics last August, but effectively held back several highly professional sports, tennis and basketball among them.

Apart from the above quartet, the rest of China's tennis camp still competes in obscurity. In the current rankings, only two Chinese finished within the top 200 and three within the top 300. Reigning Chinese champion Liang Chen ranked even lower, at 349.

"It is very important for us to have the right to choose," Li said. "I really mean it.

Jiang Shan, Li's husband, coach and also a member of the national men's team, echoed Li's view.

"It's nice for them to have other options rather than walking one way till the end," Jiang said.

Li will play for China in the Fed Cup world group playoff against Germany on April 25 and 26 after her knee is examined by her German doctors and athletic trainers.

The lingering injury has become a nightmare, sidelining her for a couple of months ahead of the all-important Olympics and then again two months earlier this year.

"All you need is a healthy body," Li said. "Only if I am 100 percent healthy can I fully concentrate on my game."

Li now sees her doctor every 10 days while competing regularly on tour.

When unable to meet medical specialists, she seeks their advice by mobile text messages.

"I haven't seen my doctor for six weeks and I am a little bit concerned with my knee," she said, after finishing the hard-court season in the first half of the year.

Li has always been viewed as a potential big winner on tour after previously defeating Serena and Venus Williams.

But the injury-plagued player says she is unclear about how far she can go.

"I haven't played a complete season for the past three seasons," she said. I dare not dream due to the injury."
(China Daily 04/15/2009 page23)

Sammm
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:29 PM
"If I had an opportunity to choose what I wanted to do in childhood, I wouldn't go for tennis. It is a sport that I was always pushed to do, first by my parents, then provincial and national sports administrators."

Nice to see her love for tennis :rolleyes:

frenchie
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:33 PM
You can tell she doesn't really like what she does

thetennistimes
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:36 PM
we have a post about this on our site also..

Keadz
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:40 PM
Oh great, here comes another injury.

But hopefully China gets the message.

Lin Lin
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:43 PM
These words are very common for me,but why they seem so huge for foreigners?

I was also pushed by my parent to study very hard when I was a little kid to get enrolled by the best universities and then could have a better chance to get a decent job.I am also always talking about this, this is not a complaint,it's the real situation in China.If I could choose maybe I would choose tennis,table tennis or badminton when I was yong,but I couldn't,my family couldn't afford these.Li Na is luckier than the majority of chinese kids,it's not a new thing for me since everyone here would say this.

Lin Lin
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:48 PM
Maybe another journalist can write a report named:"Lin Lin asks china to let kids choose their own way",because Lin Lin didn't want to go university and major in technology, Lin Lin wanted to be a tennis player when he was yong:help:

frenchie
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:55 PM
Her words are very hard

Lin Lin
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:55 PM
Hope China can get the message from Lin Lin:help:

frenchie
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:58 PM
Education is more important Lin Lin.
You'll realize it later!

For 1 successful Na Li there are thousands of failing kids in tennis and other sports

Sammm
Apr 16th, 2009, 03:09 PM
I guess it's hard for Westerners to understand Chinese attitudes.

But Na Li is unlikely to win a slam or get to the top ten if she doesn't really love the game.

SM
Apr 16th, 2009, 03:51 PM
I guess it's hard for Westerners to understand Chinese attitudes.

But Na Li is unlikely to win a slam or get to the top ten if she doesn't really love the game.
she never said she hated it, stop being so hard on her, but its hard to love it if people made the decisions for you..

youizahoe
Apr 16th, 2009, 03:55 PM
I can agree with her, China needs to stop dictating their people.

Libertango
Apr 16th, 2009, 04:35 PM
I love Li Na. She's so ... refreshing.

drake3781
Apr 16th, 2009, 06:10 PM
Why complain about Westerners? This article is written by a Chinese, published in a Chinese journal, and contains quotes only by Chinese. :shrug: :rolleyes:

The message here is that what has been done in terms of athletics by Chinese, for Chinese, is not entirely right even at the highest levels of success. When a top athlete steps up and makes statements about it, how about an open-minded listen and reassessment. What's so difficult about that?

Na will one day be looked back upon as a brave woman leader, doing her best in difficult circumstances.

Polikarpov
Apr 16th, 2009, 06:22 PM
I think we've got the real reason why Li Na will never be a top player in spite of her talent.

Noctis
Apr 16th, 2009, 06:49 PM
You foreigners doesnt know the life of china.The choices we been forces to make to do what we want in life.You dont understand the shit about us.

Valanga
Apr 16th, 2009, 06:54 PM
Li is right, she is brave enough to say it, good job.

hammerhead
Apr 16th, 2009, 06:56 PM
Get real. Those who actually make it to the top of tennis typically start when they are 5 years old and are home schooled by the time they are 12 or 13. Do you really think these children are capable of making such a choice about what to do with their lives? Whether Chinese, Western, or otherwise it is typically pushy parents that drive these kids in the tennis direction and it becomes all they know. Despite all their fortunes, both Agassi and Graf said they are not sure they would have chosen tennis if they knew then what they know now...their parents drove them. Sure there are a few exceptions, but not many. I don't think this is a Chinese thing, it's a tennis thing.

Serenita
Apr 16th, 2009, 07:03 PM
So i guess pova/ana/serena and the bunch had a choice if they wanted to play tennis or not. they decided on there own....
come out of your fantasy land.

hammerhead
Apr 16th, 2009, 07:58 PM
Sharapova's Dad Yuri left Russia with Maria as a very young girl to go to Bolletieri's. He mowed grass to support himself and Maria lived in the Bolletieri dorm and as she said "crying herself to sleep every night." You call that choice? Maria has known nothing but tennis her whole life.

Richard Williams saw on TV women winning big checks for playing tennis and decided for young Venus and Serena that they would spend their lives becoming tennis champions. Their every waking moment of their childhoods was focused on that goal. Venus said she was only allowed to watch TV if she was doing situps at the same time. You call that choice?

No...these girls did not decide to become tennis players on their own...it was decided for them at a very young age.

Malva
Apr 16th, 2009, 09:32 PM
These words are very common for me,but why they seem so huge for foreigners?

I was also pushed by my parent to study very hard when I was a little kid to get enrolled by the best universities and then could have a better chance to get a decent job.I am also always talking about this, this is not a complaint,it's the real situation in China.If I could choose maybe I would choose tennis,table tennis or badminton when I was yong,but I couldn't,my family couldn't afford these.Li Na is luckier than the majority of chinese kids,it's not a new thing for me since everyone here would say this.

By saying that her words are nothing new to you you only corroborate Li's point and make it sound even more valid.

Maybe another journalist can write a report named:"Lin Lin asks china to let kids choose their own way",because Lin Lin didn't want to go university and major in technology, Lin Lin wanted to be a tennis player when he was yong:help:

Well, there is a fine line between tyranny and coercion. Kids just left to their own designs would never willingly even go to school. The point is not about obligations, and even rigid ones, but about presenting to children many different opportunities and opening many routes for personal growth, or forcing them into something they feel aversion to from early age.

The latter is a recipe for producing a lot of unhappy citizens.

hammerhead
Apr 16th, 2009, 09:53 PM
Well, there is a fine line between tyranny and coercion. Kids just left to their own designs would never willingly even go to school. The point is not about obligations, and even rigid ones, but about presenting to children many different opportunities and opening many routes for personal growth, or forcing them into something they feel aversion to from early age.

The latter is a recipe for producing a lot of unhappy citizens.

Well said, Malva.

hammerhead
Apr 16th, 2009, 09:57 PM
Even many of those who were pretty much dictated from birth to play tennis yet grew to love it and appreciate its gifts, often reach a point where they "explode" and must find a way to have control over their own lives. Examples of this are Krajicek, Vaidisova, and Capriati. Sooner or later, people will revolt if they are treated like machines that must perform for everyone else's happiness and pride.

Lin Lin
Apr 16th, 2009, 11:51 PM
The weird point here for me is:Basically many people in China are talking about that they were push by their parents or country to do something (like Lin Lin was pushed to go university to get a better job opportunity while he wanted to be a tennis player)considering the fierce conpetition in China,but I see many people here seem to believe Li Na is the only one could say these words,so She is "brave",or she is "refreshing" or, she is a "brave woman leader":eek:(Lin Lin may be a man leader:unsure::eek:lol),and even hope "China can get a message from her".

Sometimes when I saw these posts,I even can't stop laughing.Gosh,the world is so weird to me:eek:I am glad that Na Li can make people know more about China,this is the good side.:yeah:

Pasta-Na
Apr 17th, 2009, 12:08 AM
my na. :hearts: i think she spoke for liang chen as shes her "little sister". :p

Lin Lin
Apr 17th, 2009, 12:22 AM
my na. :hearts: i think she spoke for liang chen as shes her "little sister". :p

You said these yonger girls may go bankrupt (some already)without CTA?:unsure:

DimaDinosaur
Apr 17th, 2009, 12:22 AM
The Chinese governement and most of its population act as if all its citizens are dumb. Let them think and choose for themselves, assholes :rolleyes: Gosh, teenagers can't even wipe their own ass after taking a dump without being reminded by their parents that this is what people are supposed to do. Do they seriously believe people can't think for themselves???

Dawson.
Apr 17th, 2009, 12:37 AM
"If I had an opportunity to choose what I wanted to do in childhood, I wouldn't go for tennis. It is a sport that I was always pushed to do, first by my parents, then provincial and national sports administrators."

Nice to see her love for tennis :rolleyes:

The key word being: childhood. She has a similar situation to most players out there. Most would never have dreamed of becoming an international tennis player as a child were it not for the encouragement from parents. Yet these players have grown to love the game of tennis, otherwise they wouldn't be playing it right now in adulthood. Constantly coming back from the numberous injuries Na has had surely proves her dedication to the game :shrug:

juki
Apr 17th, 2009, 12:49 AM
In 2 weeks from now there is these ITF events scheduled in Asia/Australia
25k Indonesia
25k Korea
25k Uzbekistan
25k Australia
50k in Japan

The entry lists for these events are very weak and Xinyun Han, Shuai Zhang, Chen Liang, and Yi-Maio Zhou would all probably cruise to later rounds. But the CTA haven't entered any of the girls in any tournaments this week. And there are 13 ITF events to choose from! Its ridiculous. But whats more its just a huge shame to these girls who don't get many chances to improve their ranking and eventually play in bigger events. :sad:

Pasta-Na
Apr 17th, 2009, 12:53 AM
In 2 weeks from now there is these ITF events scheduled in Asia/Australia
25k Indonesia
25k Korea
25k Uzbekistan
25k Australia
50k in Japan

The entry lists for these events are very weak and Xinyun Han, Shuai Zhang, Chen Liang, and Yi-Maio Zhou would all probably cruise to later rounds. But the CTA haven't entered any of the girls in any tournaments this week. And there are 13 ITF events to choose from! Its ridiculous. But whats more its just a huge shame to these girls who don't get many chances to improve their ranking and eventually play in bigger events. :sad:

jingjing lus their favourite now. :o fed cup and FO QD. :sad:

DragonFlame
Apr 17th, 2009, 12:53 AM
There's a few things i have to say: first, it's refreshing to see someone speak out what they think and how they feel about things. Not everyone loves tennis.

Some of you are saying, bleh she won't be a topplayer because she doesn't love tennis or didn't wanna chose for tennis. That's a horrible attitude blablabla.

Now i'm willing to say this was actually a good thing for her and pushed her to a higher level. This made her mentally stronger i think. Why do you think she has a truckload of top10 wins compared to other lower ranked players? It's because she can keep her head up when leading against topplayers like serena, venus and actually finish the job, even with the forementioned are playing decent tennis. She's not all 'oewhhhhh it's serena williams on the other side of the net', she just does her own thing when the score is close and wins instead of choke.
I think that's the reason why so many people like her, she's different from everyone else.

The only thing that's stopping her from reaching the top10 is her body. She's way too injury-prown. If she can get that in check i can obviously see her making the top10. She's got the game, regulary beats top10 players now-a-days, and has wins over practically everybody.

TheFifthAvocado
Apr 17th, 2009, 12:58 AM
She had to give up her dream of becoming a personal shopper. :sad:

Noctis
Apr 17th, 2009, 01:07 AM
She had to give up her dream of becoming a personal shopper. :sad:

Well She should Wait till she get back to China Where things comes in cheap with good quality:)

Modiac.
Apr 17th, 2009, 01:34 AM
In 2 weeks from now there is these ITF events scheduled in Asia/Australia
25k Indonesia
25k Korea
25k Uzbekistan
25k Australia
50k in Japan

The entry lists for these events are very weak and Xinyun Han, Shuai Zhang, Chen Liang, and Yi-Maio Zhou would all probably cruise to later rounds. But the CTA haven't entered any of the girls in any tournaments this week. And there are 13 ITF events to choose from! Its ridiculous. But whats more its just a huge shame to these girls who don't get many chances to improve their ranking and eventually play in bigger events. :sad:

I guess all these girls need to play a qualification tournament of national games.

Keadz
Apr 17th, 2009, 01:37 AM
I didn't take this article as from a childhood perspective, I was taking it from young tennis players who are actually trying to be professional and those tennis players who are part of the CTA.

madlove
Apr 17th, 2009, 02:43 AM
i love this girl so much. great article.

Pasta-Na
Apr 17th, 2009, 05:16 AM
She had to give up her dream of becoming a personal shopper. :sad:

:spit:

ArturoAce.
Apr 17th, 2009, 05:55 AM
Na:worship:

barboza
Apr 17th, 2009, 06:11 AM
These words are very common for me,but why they seem so huge for foreigners?

I was also pushed by my parent to study very hard when I was a little kid to get enrolled by the best universities and then could have a better chance to get a decent job.I am also always talking about this, this is not a complaint,it's the real situation in China.If I could choose maybe I would choose tennis,table tennis or badminton when I was yong,but I couldn't,my family couldn't afford these.Li Na is luckier than the majority of chinese kids,it's not a new thing for me since everyone here would say this.

Your argument is irrelevant. Li needs to have flexibility and great resources for her tennis career, and the state does not necessarily provide these things for her. In fact, the government implements a rigid plan that is very restricting on the Chinese players. To be the best tennis players, you need to get the best coaches and resources.

Lin Lin
Apr 17th, 2009, 06:25 AM
Your argument is irrelevant. Li needs to have flexibility and great resources for her tennis career, and the state does not necessarily provide these things for her. In fact, the government implements a rigid plan that is very restricting on the Chinese players. To be the best tennis players, you need to get the best coaches and resources.

No matter I agree with you or not,this time you made a polite debate in an educated way:eek::eek:,I saw a huge progress from you,thanks:)

barboza
Apr 17th, 2009, 06:45 AM
No matter I agree with you or not,this time you made a polite debate in an educated way:eek::eek:,I saw a huge progress from you,thanks:)

FYI, there's still no freedom of speech and human rights in China. I don't need you to tell me I made a progress. It's a matter of fact that China needs reform from their people to change the government.

Lin Lin
Apr 17th, 2009, 07:35 AM
FYI, there's still no freedom of speech and human rights in China. I don't need you to tell me I made a progress. It's a matter of fact that China needs reform from their people to change the government.


As you said You don't need me to tell you that,I think China also doesn't need you to tell these.
Thank you again:)

crazillo
Apr 17th, 2009, 10:29 AM
This doesn't surprise me at all having taught English in China. It is a rigid system and although you are pressed to good results your personality isn't able to develop the way you want it very often.
Still surprising to see she says she never wanted to become a tennis professional. :eek: I think you need to fully love the sport to be successful at it...

josh3135
Apr 17th, 2009, 09:46 PM
Kids these days....

Back in the old days they'd just defect. Screw taking orders from people who's only interest is good PR for their backwater craphole of a country.

If Li wants to be a leader and make a statement, defect and take a couple with you.

They can all start a resturant or something.

Pasta-Na
Apr 18th, 2009, 12:18 AM
barboza, heninjust. :hearts: wheres Sam L? :sad:

Tech1
Apr 27th, 2009, 04:35 AM
Chinese tennis ace denies attacking on officials
www.chinaview.cn (http://www.chinaview.cn/index.htm) http://imgs.xinhuanet.com/icon/2006english/2007korea/space.gif 2009-04-24 14:31:25

by Ma Xiangfei
BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese top tennis player Li Na has denied that she ever attacked China's sport system and tennis officials.

She said there was an misunderstanding in the reports and she was thankful for the tennis association's support.

"I would never be in this place if it had not for the support from the tennis association. It is the same for other good Chinese players as well," she told Xinhua Thursday in an email.

She said it was supposed to be a good thing for them to get more room to manage their own career.

China's second highest ranked player at 30 in the world, Li was reported to have slammed on China's sport system when she said young athletes need more freedom.

"I love what it is right now. In the past, national or the provincial sports administrators arranged everything for you and you had no options but to follow their arrangements," Li was quoted by the April 15 version China Daily and a number of other Chinese newspapers as well.

"If I had an opportunity to choose what I wanted to do in childhood, I wouldn't go for tennis. It is a sport that I was always pushed to do, first by my parents, then provincial and national sports administrators," she was quoted.

Li, together with Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie, Zheng's Grand Slam doubles title winning partner Yan Zi and Peng Shuai, became the few Chinese tennis players to leave the state-supported system at the end of last year.

Chinese tennis association deputy head Gao Shenyang said they were willing to give the players more room but the problem was whether they could support themselves on their own.

"We have been treating everyone equally but players are at different competition levels," Gao told Xiaoxiang Morning, a newspaper based in Hunan province on Wednesday. "We allow leading ones like Li Na, Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie to arrange their own schedules because they take well control of their own trainings and can afford training fees themselves."

"For many other players, they choose to stay with the national team as they are not able to support themselves yet," he added.

Zheng is the highest ranked Chinese player standing in 16th while Peng, long trained in the United States, is 33rd in the world.

China's sporting system remains largely a state-support model while some private training system is exploring its way on the side.

Gao admitted, however, it took time for a system to evolve.

"In the past, it was unimaginable for us to manage it on one's own. We are making progress step by step," he told the newspaper.

Under the state structure, children with sport talents are spotted and admitted into local sport schools before they excel to go into the provincial and eventually the national teams. The model has been unquestionably successful, with China topping the gold medal count at last year's Beijing Olympics. But it did not work well for more market-oriented sports like soccer.

Lin Lin
Apr 27th, 2009, 05:10 AM
:yawn:


This is rediculous,some media is:help:,they even use the word "bombard" in Chinese,saying Li Na bombards Chinese sports system.However, Li Na says these journalists exaggerate and distort her words,just trying to draw more attentions so they can get their newspapers sold more.

Pasta-Na
Apr 27th, 2009, 05:41 AM
:yawn:


This is rediculous,some media is:help:,they even use the word "bombard" in Chinese,saying Li Na bombards Chinese sports system.However, Li Na says these journalists exaggerate and distort her words,just trying to draw more attentions so they can get their newspapers sold more.

yes, na fought back. :lol:

Beat
Apr 27th, 2009, 08:35 AM
i see chinese posters are in full defensive mode. again.

Beat
Apr 27th, 2009, 08:37 AM
Well She should Wait till she get back to China Where things comes in cheap with good quality:)
:lol:

Pasta-Na
Apr 27th, 2009, 09:15 AM
i see chinese posters are in full defensive mode. again.

how can u see? u've two stars covering ur eyes. :o

Noctis
Apr 27th, 2009, 10:26 AM
i see chinese posters are in full defensive mode. again.

You wish you shouldnt see what we can do in attack mode;)

Experimentee
Apr 28th, 2009, 01:01 AM
She never said she doesn't like tennis. She said if she had a choice she would have chosen something else. Perhaps she does like tennis but there are other sports she likes better.