epa03555998 Li Na hits a forehand during the women's final between Li Na of China and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 26 January 2013. EPA/Mast Irham |
Australian Open finalist Li Na won’t be celebrating World Tennis day on Monday after withdrawing injured from an exhibition in Hong Kong. China’s top player who has not competed since losing the Grand Slam final to Victoria Azarenka, will be replaced by Agnieszka Radwanska.
The Hong Kong exhibition featuring Caroline Wozniacki is one half of a program which also includes a similar event in New York, But with Rafael Nadal a big part of that show and his fragile knees a constant worry, there seem to be no guarantees about his presence either.
Nadal has made no pronouncement about his schedule after this week’s clay tournament in Acapulco, though New York officials are floating the idea that all is well with the Spaniard who they insist will take his place on court against Juan Del Potro.
In Hong Kong, one-time rivals Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe will also square off at a venue not far from the city’s island airport.
“It is very unfortunate that Na has to pull out of the event and I know no one is more disappointed than she is, but I am very pleased to be able to welcome Agnieszka to the line-up” said a statement from organizers. “The very painful injury Na incurred in the final of the Australian Open last month has not responded enough to intense treatment.”
Added Li, “I’m very sad to announce that I won’t be able to play in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the ankle injury I had in the Australian Open final is still not ready for me to compete.”
Wozniacki has a 5-4 edge over Radwanska, who has won their last three matches, including earlier this month in the Doha quarter-finals.
Grigor Dmitrov, Santiago Gonzalez and Daniela Hantuchova happily took some time away from the court on Monday to visit La Quebrada, the official cliff diving site in Acapulco, before their singles openers at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.
The ATP has announced the Tournaments of the Year in the 2014 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon, with the BNP Paribas Open joining repeat winners the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and the Aegon Championships as the most favoured ATP World Tour events in their respective tournament categories.
I saw Baryshnikov a few decades back, the light landing of his shoes upon the boards, the way his fourth finger always pointed down such that his entire being intimated relaxation, the position of his head always held straight - as though balancing a glass of water upon it, - the inhuman amount of time he spent in the mid-jump air, as if he and gravity had an agreement.
When I lived in Richmond, Virginia I found it difficult driving past Arthur Ashe’s statue without getting a lump in my throat. Compared with the huge, preposterously imposing statues of Confederate Generals that adorn long stretches of Monument Avenue, Arthur’s statue is relatively small but no less emotive.