Learning her lesson from her fourth-round defeat to Kim Clijsters at the Australian Open earlier this year, Chinese number 1 tennis player Li Na has vowed to stay off the booze even if she wins the US Open.
Describing the events after her devastating loss, where she threw away four match points to the Belgian Grand Slam champion, Li told reporters on Wednesday about how she became “totally lost” due to the rather raucous Chinese New Year celebrations she indulged in post-match.
“For me it was worse because the next day is Chinese New Year….After I lose the match, I was like…’Everyone was so happy without me’, so I was like, ‘OK, just take the beer and totally drunk’”
Recalling the Chinese saying that “if you lose the day, you feel a whole year is not so lucky” the tennis star eventually pulled herself together and is adamant that any success that comes her way in New York will not be celebrated in such a manner again – “Fortunately I not do the same…maybe a couple of beers.”
Li reached the third round of the last slam of the year today with a victory over Casey Dellacqua, and will next face the UK’s own Laura Robson who, in an ironic twist of fate, was able to dispatch Kim Clijsters in the retiring Belgian’s last career singles match. Having regained the stunning form that led to her French Open victory over 12 months ago, the ninth seed has arrived at the US open bearing both a victory in the Cincinnati warm-up and runner-up position at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.