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(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-08 09:07








China's Li Na is moving closer to the country's historic high of 36th after she was ranked 39th in the newly-released WTA rankings.

Li Na is following the footsteps of predecessor Li Fang, who made it to 36th in the singles' rankings, the highest ever achieved by a Chinese player. Looking good to close on that, Li Na is also the second highest-ranked Asian player in the tour, behind world No 24 Ai Sugiyama of Japan.

The 23-year-old, who rejoined the national team last October after a two-year break, came from qualifiers at Dubai Open last week and then beat Sugiyama in the first round before losing to Patty Schnyder of Switzerland.

She gained 25 WTA points to move from 46th to 39th.

Winning the country's first ever WTA title last October in Guangzhou, Li Na opened her 2005 season in the Gold Coast WTA in Australia and later went on to reach the semi-finals at the Hobart Open. She entered the third round of her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open before losing to world No 4 Maria Sharapova. This is the best Grand Slam result for Chinese players.

Li Na's closest compatriot is 19-year-old Peng Shuai at 43th and Zheng Jie at 68th. In the doubles' rankings, Zheng, who teamed up with Yan Zi, ranks 33rd after they made it into the semi-finals at the Dubai Open. The Athens Olympic doubles gold medallists Li Ting and Sun Tiantian are 29th and 33rd respectively.
 
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Seems like she has some momentum right now. A shame that she will not be able to swallow up some more points to get to that historic milestone of #35 or higher up. She could've done well at Indian Wells and Miami. When's her next tourney? Roland Garros?
 

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Well, more to build up next year.:) Look on the bright side.:eek:
 

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She entered the third round of her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open before losing to world No 4 Maria Sharapova. This is the best Grand Slam result for Chinese players.
I thought Jie made fourth round of Rolland Garros?
 

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Yeah, Shar I thought so too.
 

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and Shinobu is the second highest-ranked Asian player tho...

Who was the 36th before??
I remember one Chinese player who was good... her name was Hou Li or something (sorry not sure). Was that her??
I saw her playing against Kimiko Date once.

Good luck!!
 
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