Low-key Li Na makes solid start at Wimbledon
Updated: 2011-06-22 09:21
Li Na of China waits to receive a serve from Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 21, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
LONDON – China's French Open champion Li Na did enough to beat Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3 6-3 in a low-key first-round clash at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
Third seed Li, the first Asian to win a Grand Slam singles title in Paris, next faces either Germany's Sabine Lisicki or Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the last 32.
"It was tough, she has a huge, big serve and also on grass she was playing more flat," said Li of her opponent who defeated Maria Sharapova here three years ago.
"So I had to rally every second. I never knew what may happen, which shot she'll hit next."
Li shrugged off concerns over a knee injury she picked up in the match. "It was because it was late so the grass was wet," said the 29-year-old.
Li said that she will not consider herself the favourite for the title on the back of her famous win in Paris.
"The French Open is different than Wimbledon, different surface. The French Open is also over. So I would like to do like before - come to the next tournament and focus on that tournament."
Li Na of China hits a return to Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 21, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
Much of the depleted crowd, wrapped-up in coats, jumpers and shawls to protect themselves against the cold evening wind, seemed more interested in the lively chants and cheers coming from Australian Lleyton Hewitt's match next door on Court 12.
Both players seemed rattled by the noise but the Australian Open runner-up held her nerve better than foot-fault prone Kudryavtseva, who at one point smashed her racket against the ground in frustration and glared at the line judge every time he called against her.
Li was joined in the second round by compatriot Peng Shuai. The 20th seed defeated Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens 6-0, 6-4 and next faces Britain's Elena Baltacha.
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