Sports / Tennis

Li looking 29 again

By Tang Zhe (China Daily) Updated: 2012-10-03 07:18

Li looking 29 again

A resurgent Li Na breezed to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Nadia Petrova on Monday at the China Open. Up next is Peng Shuai in the quarters. [Photo/Agencies]

Suddenly, winning is easy again.

China's Li Na, who hadn't defeated Nadia Petrova in their past six meetings, breezed past the Russian for a commanding 6-1, 6-2 victory on Tuesday at the China Open.

"I think that's the charm in playing tennis," said the seventh seed. "Every day you can challenge yourself. You might lose a few in a row, but that doesn't mean you will lose to her every time. This is sports. You never know what's going to happen."

Li, 30, is hoping for a solid finish as she attempts to qualify for the WTA Championships for the second straight season.

"I'm very glad to see I was still making progress in this match," she said.

The 30-year-old attributed her progress to her new coach, Carlos Rodriguez, saying she has developed a great deal of confidence in him.

"I really have to say he's a very good coach. He's not just teaching me how to play tennis," Li said.

"It's important for the whole team to share the same goals."

"My team has meetings on a regular basis. We make a plan, and everybody plays their role. We don't just work out temporary solutions. We have an overall plan, all of us.

"He's also taught me a lot about how to succeed on the court. I mean, before, I was always likely to explode on the court. I think I've changed a lot."

Li will meet compatriot Peng Shuai in the third round. Peng rallied to upset Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 on Monday, but said her shoulder injury hasn't recovered and that it hampered her serve.

Li didn't talk about playing Peng, saying only that she plans to come to the court and stick to her game.

Elsewhere, top seed Victoria Azarenka eliminated German Sabine Lisicki, 6-4, 6-2. Eighth seed Samantha Stosur was stunned by unseeded German Julia Goerges 7-6, 4-6, 7-5.

On the men's side, top seed Novak Djokovic defeated qualifier Michael Berrer, 6-1, 6-7, 6-2. Third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, 6-4, 1-6, 6-7 to make it to the second round.


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