Li Na completed her campaign at the Roland Garros 2011 tournament with a title win at the Ladies Singles event after beating defending champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-4, 7-6. She became the first Chinese player – male or female – to have won a Grand Slam singles title.
As the French Open 2011 Ladies Singles champion, Li Na will become world number four once the new rankings are released next week. She will receive € 1,200,000 for the title win.
“Francesca is a clay court player – she hits topspin and slice so well, so I just tried to play my tennis and keep her running. She’s a top player so you never know what will happen and when she will come back in the match, but when we went into the tie-break I told myself it was my chance to do it,” Li said after the match.
“Before this tournament, people said I couldn’t do well on clay courts. Now I think they will change their minds,” she added.
China has become a superpower in Asian tennis with Li’s compatriots Zheng Jie, Yan Zi and Sun Tiantian already clinching Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles event. Li Na’s triumph in Paris made her the first Asian – male or female – to win a major in Singles competition. Her world no. 4 ranking equals the highest-ranked Asian in WTA history, Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan.