14 March 2011

What's going on with Li Na?

Certainly one of the best stories from this year's Aussie Open was Li Na. What a start to the year - she'd clawed back to beat Kim in Sydney and followed that up with an amazing run to the final in Melbourne.

She had Kim on the ropes and certainly could have won Asia's first Grand Slam, but she couldn't hold her form and lost in three sets.

Since that match, she's lost three straight opening matches. In Dubai, she lost to Wickmayer 6-7 7-6 2-6. In Doha, she lost to Zakopalova 2-6, 1-6. And yesterday, she lost in three sets to her compatriot Peng Shaui 6-4, 3-6, 3-6.

To be fair, only the Doha loss was a bad one, as Yanina Wickmayer can be tough and Peng Shaui has been mere points from a QF in Melbourne and final in Auckland, Still, Li Na is now 7 in the world, and she's ace on hard courts so I can't work out what's going on. Too many dumplings in her Chinese New Year celebrations? Too much partying to celebrate her great start to the year (you know Li Na would be a great drinking mate)?

She was upset in the first round at Indian Wells last year by Elena Baltacha in a third set tiebreaker so she's not defending many points, but I hope she can regroup for Miami. It'd  be a shame if she didn't get back the momentum she had in Australia.

She has certainly been busy though since she left the Southern Hemisphere:

Photo: WTA

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