Li Na's triumph at the French Open has made her the first Chinese and Asian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. Not only her win, but also her perseverance and passion for the sport will help the development of tennis in China, says an article in South Metropolis Newspaper. Excerpts:
Since Westerners have dominated tennis from its inception, people have every reason to see Li Na's victory as the glory of China and Asia.
Many Chinese sports stars have been criticized for lack of sincerity. But Li Na's response to her victory showed her sincerity. Answering a question, she said that she played tennis for the prize money as well as her love for tennis and family.
Li Na's straightforward and honest answer differentiates her from many of her Chinese and foreign peers who feign to have become athletes only because they love sports. It is surprising to see that they never mention the money they make.
Li Na's skill and distinctive personality reflect the charm of a tennis player and the sport both. A sincere athlete, which Li Na undoubtedly is, can be a role model of youngsters.
After the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, China started exploring ways of transforming itself from a country where sports is popular into a sports power.
Because of the huge influence on its sports world, tennis has become the pioneer of professionalism in China. To some extent, Li Na has been benefited from this change.
Behind Li Na's personal honor shines the light of China's integration into the world's professional sports system. There is reason to believe that a bright future awaits not only tennis, but also other sports in China.
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