Li Na advances at Wimbledon

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iol spt june23 Li Na Reuters Li Na got back on track after her French Open misery as the Chinese second seed enjoyed a win over Polish qualifier Paula Kania in the Wimbledon first round. Photo by: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Li Na got back on track after her French Open misery as the Chinese second seed enjoyed a 7-5, 6-2 win over Polish qualifier Paula Kania in the Wimbledon first round on Monday.

Li suffered her worst Grand Slam performance since 2011 when she slumped to an opening round exit against Kristina Mladenovic in Paris last month, but her first match since then was less traumatic.

The 32-year-old from Wuhan was too strong for Kania in their 76-minute clash on Centre Court, hitting 24 winners to set up a second round meeting with Austria's Yvonne Meusburger.

World number two Li, a two-time Grand Slam champion, hopes to get past the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time this year.

Kania, ranked 183rd, had never before played a WTA Tour-level match, let alone appeared at a Grand Slam. The 21-year-old showed few signs of being overawed and broke Li in the first game.

But Li finally began to take control just in the nick of time, breaking Kania as she served for the set at 5-4 and then again two games later to snatch the set.

The reigning Australian Open champion finished the job comfortably after surging into a 5-1 lead in the second set. – AFP


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