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.
This is about as good as it gets when it comes to a pair of 500-point tournaments. Roger Federer will play in front of home fans as the No. 1 seed at the Swiss Indoors Basel, where Rafael Nadal’s comeback from a wrist injury and perseverance through appendicitis will continue.
This was pretty straightforward: Marin Cilic broke once in the middle of the first set, and again at the beginning of the second, and he was never broken. It's his fourth title of the year -- twice as many as he had ever won before even if you ignore the fact that one of them was the U. S. Open.
Sunday's showdown between David Ferrer and Andy Murray at the Erste Bank Open not only had a title on the line but also World Tour Finals implications. The two veterans entered this week separated by one spot in the race to London, both outside the top eight with Ferrer in ninth and Murray in 10th.
We keep crossing Ernests Gulbis out of London, and it's never quite officially true. But this makes it incredibly close (more in the Feature). Roberto Bautista Agut can't quite make London, but with this, he's up to #14. That's as high as he can go this week, and probably this year, but still, what a breakthrough season!
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