Li Na officially announced her retirement from professional tennis at 11 am today on her Sina Weibo account. The 32-year-old two-time Grand Slam champion cited knee injuries as the reason.
Our favorite Masshole in China, Donnie, has done his best work yet, pretending to be Roger Federer on the streets of Shanghai. "Wo ai Zhongguo," he says, which is exactly what the real Rog would've said, probably.
Not to be missed is the girl who covers her mouth and nearly giggles herself into oblivion, thinking Roger Federer just told her (in Chinese!) that she's "very cute."
The China Open tennis tournament began in Beijing over the weekend, but before the games that counted, there was this, a "Battle of the Sexes" between the world's top player, Novak Djokovic, and China's very own Li Na.
There's a chance you've known this for a while, since it was first reported on September 6 (by Indo-Asian News Service, of all places), but Li Na will face Novak Djokovic in a "battle of the sexes" on September 27 to mark the 10th year of the China Open at Beijing's National Tennis Center. It's a wonderful little PR stunt, pitting the world's top-ranked men's player against the women's No. 5 playing in her home tournament.
Fifth-seeded Li Na, playing with what she called nervous energy, beat 24th seed Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 yesterday to become the first Chinese player to ever reach the semifinals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
In an otherwise excellent piece on Chinese tennis star Li Na, Brook Larmer, writing in the New York Times, made one critical error, which Chinese media quickly pointed out. The offending passage originally read:
After winning the first set of the Australian Open final against defending champ and world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, Li Na rolled her ankle -- twice, the second time immediately following a 10-minute fireworks display in honor of Australia Day -- before falling in three sets 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
That Azarenka was on the other end of two medical timeouts was more than a little ironic.
Ever since advancing to the 2011 Australian Open final, becoming the first Chinese player to appear in a Grand Slam singles final, Li Na has been somewhat of a media darling in Melbourne. The 30-year-old, sixth-seeded Wuhan native beat Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 on Tuesday to advance to the semis against Maria Sharapova, but not before serving up a bit of comedy.
Congratulations to Wu Di for qualifying for the Australian Open!
And congratulations to the Chinese education system for its success in instilling in Tennis Player Wu the notion that no matter where a mainland Chinese person travels, everyone else is still the foreigner.
Novak Djokovic's dominance in Beijing continued last night when he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the finals of the China Open, extending his record at this tournament to 14-0. (He also won the 2009 and 2010 titles.) In fact, he dropped just one set in his five matches, which means he was probably never uncomfortable on any of the courts.
That is, until the award ceremony.