Li Is First Chinese Woman in French Final

Li Na is the first Chinese female tennis player to advance to the French Open. From the New York Times:

Bounce. Bounce. Think. Think. Thousands in the stadium all bracing for the same thing, and then it was on its way, smacking all too predictably into the tape, sending Li and presumably quite a few of her Chinese compatriots into the kind of euphoria that only comes with a big sporting surprise.

“I never believe myself I can be in the final of the , and today I got it,” the sixth-seeded Li said after her 6-4, 7-5 victory.

She will face Francesca Schiavone, the defending champion with the effervescent personality and baroque one-handed backhand from — where else? — Italy.

Schiavone defeated Marion Bartoli, the last French player remaining, 6-3, 6-3, in Thursday’s second semifinal. Schiavone has not won another tournament since her surprise run to the title in Paris last year, but she clearly is in symbiosis with Roland Garros.

June 2, 2011, 10:34 PM
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