Li Na, China’s Tennis Rebel

Sports and Society Administrator August 26, 2013 0

New York Times | August 22, 2013

“The patch of Wimbledon grass known as the Graveyard of Champions was supposedly exorcised four years ago, when the blue-blazered gentlemen of the All England Lawn Tennis Club demolished Court 2, built a new grandstand in its place and, in 2011, renamed the haunted space Court 3. But the tennis fans watching the 2013 championships still knew. Li Na, China’s tennis rebel, knew, too. This was the same cursed court where top seeds like Pete Sampras and Serena Williams had suffered ignominious defeats, falling to unheralded players in the early rounds. Now Li, the former French Open champion and sixth-ranked player in the world, teetered one game away from a third-round loss to the Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova. “At that moment,” she told me later, “I suddenly saw myself with my bags going to the airport. It made my heart ache.”

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