Li Na has just made it though to her first ever US Open semifinal, with a 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 victory over the 24th seed Ekatarina Makarova from Russia. It also means a Chinese woman has reached at least the semifinals in all four Grand Slam tournaments (after Li and Zheng Jie in Australia, Li at Roland Garros, and Zheng at Wimbledon). The result should finally consign last week’s drugs “scandal” to history.
Let’s start with the good: 14-year-old golfer Guan Tianlang – he of Masters fame – looks well on his way to making his third cut in four PGA Tour events this year, playing at the Memorial Tournament at the invitation of Jack Nicklaus. Despite two bogeys in the last three holes, his even-par round of 72 was good enough for =41st place after Round 1. This is a strong field: 20 of the 120 players have one at least one major, and Guan is ahead of 12 of them.
China and Japan may be duking it out for territorial bragging rights in the East China Sea, but on the tennis court it is very much advantage China.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced this week that, from 2014, a new tournament in Wuhan will replace the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, which will celebrate a bittersweet 30th – and last – anniversary this year.
This is shaping up to be a huge tournament, with at least seven of the year-end ranked top 10 players due to appear in Li Na’s hometown, competing for more than $2 million in prize money.