epa03641548 Li Na of China returns a ball from Serena Williams of the US during their quarter final match at the Sony Open tennis tournament in Miami, Florida, USA, 26 March 2013. The tournament runs through 31 March. EPA/ERIK S. LESSER |
Li Na’s modern, capitalist-driven China is not old totalitarian state of previous generations. And as such, the former French Open champion has her eye on the prize at the WTA Porsche Grand Prix. That prize happens, in fact, to be a Porsche.
The pricey sports coupe comes with the champion’s trophy in Stuttgart on indoor clay, And the gleaming beauty is one bit of machinery that Li – and no doubt here husband – would love to get their hands on.
The Stuttgart second seed, who has played sparingly since injuring an ankle in the Australian open final against Victoria Azarenka, doesn’t try to hide her desire for the roadster.
“I have a lot of room in my garage for a new car and it’s a pretty nice car,” “said the Chinese player who spends much of her training time in Munich where she can walk the streets all but unrecognized. That’s in contrast to China where she is a national sporting heroine.
Li is making the change to clay in time for what she hopes is another run at the French Open. “It’s always tough when you change surface, so I’m excited to win my first match on clay for the season,” she added.
While Li dreams of her Porsche prize, the object in question sits on striking display near one end of the court. And also – pretty hard to miss – is a huge poster of newly signed Porsche international brand icon Maria Sharapova, who needed three hours to win her opening match against Czech Lucie Safarova, overcoming eight doubles faults to advance.
The 1987 Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash and the two-time French Open winner Sergi Bruguera have added their names to an all-star line-up in the Statoil Masters Tennis, the IMG-owned and staged event held at the Royal Albert Hall, 3-7 December.
It has been a rough week for Americans in Basel, Valencia, and in Singapore. Steve Johnson lost his Swiss Indoors Basel opener to Milos Raonic 7-6(4), 6-4. John Isner and Stefan Kozlov, the only two USA representatives in the Valencia singles draw, lost in the first round. Even Serena Williams suffered a shocking 6-0, 6-2 defeat to Simona Halep at the women's year-end championship.