Li Na likes to be the early bird in Wimbledon quest

Chinese world No 2 shows signs of return to top form with easy win over Austria's Meusburger

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 12:51am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 12:51am

Second seed Li Na of China admits she would happily stay out of the Wimbledon spotlight if it means she can keep her early appointments at the All England Club.

Li swept into the Wimbledon third round with an imperious 6-2, 6-2 victory over Austria's Yvonne Meusburger in the first match out on Court Two on Wednesday.

As the world No 2 and reigning Australian Open champion, Li was asked if she felt snubbed by the decision not to schedule her match on one of Wimbledon's two main show courts.

If they put you in the fourth or last match, you have to wait around and the whole day you can't do anything
Li Na of China

But the 32-year-old revealed she prefers it if her match is the first of the day, regardless of the court, as it means she doesn't have to spend all day hanging around nervously to discover when she will get the chance to play.

"I like to be the first match because you don't have to wait. If they put you in the fourth or last match, you have to wait around and the whole day you can't do anything.

"It doesn't matter what court I'm on, I just like to be first."

Given the opportunity to indulge her early-bird preference, Li was far too strong for Meusburger, hitting 33 winners to just four from the world No 38, and will play Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic for a place in the last 16. Li has never been past the Wimbledon quarter-finals in seven attempts.

On this form Li has every chance of making a stronger run at the title this year, but she refused to look further ahead than her looming clash with Zahlavova Strycova.

"It's easy to say, tough to do," Li said when asked if she could win Wimbledon.

As usual Li dealt well with all the questions thrown her way at the post-match press conference - as befits someone with a journalism degree.

But asked if she would ever consider swapping her racquet for a laptop, Li said: "My dream after I retire is to be a housewife."

Meanwhile, defending champion Andy Murray eased into the men's singles third round with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 mauling of Slovenia's Blaz Rola. Third-seeded Murray won in just 84 minutes, hitting seven aces and 27 winners against the world No 92, who was playing just the 10th match of his professional career.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press