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 French Open, 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.

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