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China's Li Na Breaks New Ground
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Female Chinese tennis player, Li Na, created history for China at Wimbledon yesterday.

Li, 24, overcame Czech 17-year-old Nicole Vaidisova 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to become China's first grand slam singles quarter-finalist.

"I'm proud of myself and very proud for my country as well," Li said through an interpreter. "Even though I lost the first set I'm proud of what I achieved."

Li beat French Open runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in the third round and used her powerful forehand to subdue Vaidisova who reached the last four at Roland Garros.

She plays Belgian second seed Kim Clijsters in the last eight. Clijsters outclassed Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-2 yesterday.

Before Wimbledon the best singles showing by a Chinese player was Zheng Jie's run to the French Open fourth round in 2004.

"The sport of tennis has not been developed for long in China, and the best training for us is to keep playing in WTA events and Grand Slams, " said Chinese head coach Jiang Hongwei after Li's victory on Monday.

(China Daily July 4, 2006)

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