Top four seeds at the women's singles have rolled on to the
semifinals of the tennis tournament at the Doha Asian Games on
Top seed Li Na of China, who revenged the team event wobble by
ousting nemesis Iroda Tulyaganova from Uzbekistan in the
quarterfinals, will face fourth seed Sania Mirza from India while
second-seeded fellow Chinese Zheng Jie meets Aiko Nakamura, who is
seeded third at the December 4-14 tournament.
Li, who blushed in China's first team clash against Uzbekistan
losing a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 battle to Tulyaganova in second singles on
December 5, rallied from one set down to overcome defending
champion Tulyaganova 3-6, 7-5 and 6-2.
"I played OK. I was a bit tired after playing too much tennis
yesterday. Iroda was using top spin a lot, and she was serving
well. So after losing the first set, I told myself I can do it and
I hung on," said Li.
Tulyaganova reached a career-high No. 16 in 2002. A serious
elbow injury kept her sidelined for several years before she made a
comeback earlier this year.
While Mirza enjoyed a comfortable win when she beat Suchanun
Viratprasert from Thailand 6-3, 6-2, the 33rd-ranked Zheng combated
off some dicey moments before coming back from one set down to
score a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over 17-year-old Chan Yung Jan from
Chinese Taipei in two hours and 16 minutes.
"It was tough today. She is still young but played aggressive
tennis. It was important for me to win as I really wanted to be in
the semifinals," said Zheng, who had gleaned two singles WTA titles
at Estoril, Portugal and Stockholm, Sweden in 2006.
Her semifinal opponent Nakamura claimed an easy win over
Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn, who retired from their quarterfinal
match due to an ankle injury.
(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2006)