Wu Yibing becomes first Chinese man to reach the US Open third round since 1881
The top men’s players in the US Open 2019 have always had some of the world’s best female counterparts.
One of them is the former world number one and China’s finest player Li Na, who has been winning majors since 2001 when she upset Serena Williams for the first time, finishing runner-up at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
So how is Li Na faring on the biggest stage of them all?
She has always been a big draw with fans and media alike. She is the same, and her results in previous major championships have been similar to what she has delivered so far this year.
Li Na could easily reach the second week of the US Open women’s quarterfinals. Photo: AP
However, in her last appearance at the US Open, Li Na lost to the defending champion Venus Williams in the third round at the Australian Open.
That was also in Melbourne.
“We were both exhausted and had to play another day,” Li Na, 34, told Shanghaiist.
Li Na has been on an upward trajectory since. She has won titles and Grand Slams in almost every tournament they have been held in – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open and now Indian Wells.
She has also been a dominant force in the women’s game ever since her breakthrough at the 2004 Olympics. But it was on the men’s side where things have turned out to be not so much.
The likes of Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated the men’s scene since 2012. In contrast, the women have been under the thumb of Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.
Li Na, who lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon two years ago, has not been given any other opportunities to dominate men’s tennis.
That is why on Sunday, she played like the best tennis player ever when she defeated the world no. 11 Daniil Medvedev in a close game 7.
From Shanghai’s perspective, it would have been better if she would have won the match. But at least a win was guaranteed.