Won the 2011 French Open women's singles tennis title, becoming the first player from China to win a grand slam in singles. She also reached the final of the 2011 Australian Open.
Li Na advances to quarter-finals in Sydney International tournament
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Fourth-seeded Li Na of China advanced to the quarter-finals of the Sydney International tennis tournament on Tuesday.
Li, who was pushed to two tough sets in beating American Christina McHale in the first round on Monday, dominated Ayumi Morita of Japan 6-1, 6-0, despite the searing 40-degree Celsius temperatures at Olympic Park.
Zheng Jie of China was not so fortunate, beaten by American qualifier Madison Keys 6-0, 6-4.
Top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland extended her unbeaten start to the season to six matches with a 6-4, 6-3 win over 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan.
Radwanska, who won last week’s WTA tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, battled to cope with the heat.
“This is too hot to play tennis,” Radwanska said when asked whether matches should be put on hold at the Australian Open lead-up event. “Even for players, for ball kids, for the people sitting out there, it’s just too hot.”
Radwanska said she tried not to alter her game in the conditions but admitted she had more of a battle against the heat than her opponent.
“The main thing is just to stay calm and try to survive,” said the last year Wimbledon finalist, who admitted having experienced similar conditions at Melbourne Park during the Australian Open.
The Sydney tournament has an extreme heat policy but it only comes into effect at the discretion of the tournament referee. Tennis officials apply a complex formula factoring in heat, humidity and wind to determine when on-court conditions become too stressful for the players.
In other matches, second-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany and No 3 Sara Errani of Italy advanced to the quarter-finals.
Kerber beat Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-2, 7-5 and Errani defeated Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-1, 6-1.
Twice grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, who had to qualify for the Sydney tournament, beat former No 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-2.
In first-round men’s play, sixth-seeded Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-2, 6-3 and Spain’s Feliciano Lopez beat seventh-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-3.
Jarkko Nieminen of Finland defeated qualifier Bjorn Phau of Germany 6-0, 6-1 and Australian wildcard entry John Millman beat Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-4.
Fabio Fognini of Italy beat Grigour Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who lost to Britain’s Andy Murray in last week’s Brisbane International final, 6-3, 6-1.