Medal Tally
Team China

China's "golden flowers" grabs Asiad team tennis crown

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, November 16, 2010
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Wimbledon semifinalist Li Na led host China to capture the team tennis title on Tuesday at the Asian Games.

Li, currently world number 11, thumped her Chinese Taipei opponent Chan Yung Jan 6-1, 6-1 in the singles.

After jumping to a 6-1 lead, the Chinese top favorite rolled on in the second set with her powerful baseline shots and accurate hits, and finished 6-1 past the Chinese Taipei top seed.

Li did not give her rival any openings, breaking her serves twice in the first set, and four times in the second set, never looking back to notch the win.

"I felt excited when I was on court and I did not feel much pressure," said Li. "We lost the gold at Doha Asian Games, and this time we were fully prepared."

Her opponent admired Li's "excellent" skills, saying she could not control Li's cross shots.

"Even if we failed to defend the title, it does not mean that we aren't making progress," said Chan Yung Jan.

Four years ago, Chinese Taipei claimed the women's team gold in Doha, while China tasted sorrow as it was defeated by Uzbekistan in the semifinals.

Li's triumph was joined by her teammate Peng Shuai, who defeated Chinese Taipei's Chang Kai Chen 6-3, 7-5 in another singles.

Peng, world 72th ranked, broke Chang's serves four times in the second set, and claimed victory in one hour and 43 minutes.

"I felt extremely nervous this morning because I was too eager for the victory," Peng told reporters. "It was the first time in my life that I rely totally on high shots to win."

"Actually I was not back to my best shape today. But home crowds offered me a lot of strength while I was on the court," said the glamor girl, whose knee injury caused her absent from this year's Australian and French Opens, and who pulled out of the U.S. Open midway.

The loss of defending doubles champion Yan Zi and her new partner Zhuang Shuai in Tuesday's doubles to Doha silver medallist Chuang Chia Jung and her partner Hsieh Suwei, did not shake China's pass over Chinese Taipei.

"We made a lot of progress over the past four years, with our top athletes including Li Na and Zheng Jie giving remarkable performances on international arenas such as Grand Slams," said head coach Jiang Hongwei of the Chinese tennis team.

"The gold shows our tennis strength in Asia, and means a lot to us," he added.

The tennis events of Guangzhou Asian Games are scheduled for Nov. 13-23, with athletes competing for seven gold medals of men's and women's singles, doubles, teams and mix doubles.

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