Li Na loses first match since Australia Open
Updated: 2011-02-17 16:09
Li Na of China reacts during her match against Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships Feb 16, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
DUBAI - Li Na, who became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam singles final last month in Melbourne, followed it by missing four successive match points to lose her opening match in the Dubai Open on Wednesday.
The fifth-seeded Chinese player was 6-2 up in the second set tie-break against Yanina Wickmayer, the world number 25 from Belgium, but, after failing to convert any of them, slid frustratingly to a 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (10/8), 6-2 defeat.
But having got to within one good blow of victory in the second set, it seemed certain that her more complete all-court game and better ground-stroking angles would get her over the line.
Instead, Wickmayer played by far her most consistently forcing tennis on the four match points, and after taking the contest into the decider saw Li's standard fall away sharply. The last four games tumbled quickly in the direction of the unseeded player.
Asked if it were the best win of her career, Wickmayer said: "Probably, yes. She's a top ten player, and she's a great player, and she played really well at the beginning of the year, so I am very, very happy."
Wickmayer is coached by her father Marc, but has just given a three-month trial to Vladimir Platenik, about whom she said: "I hope he's really happy."
Li Na of China serves to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium during their match at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships Feb 16, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
The Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival for family reunions.
A summary of the major events both inside and outside China.
Alimjan Halik had been selected as the "Cyberspace Personality Who Moved the Hearts of the Chinese in 2010".