Li Na makes history and enters French Open final

by Jorge Hernandez on June 3, 2011

It's Li Na of China versus Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the women's finals at the French Open. Schiavone is the defending champion, ranked number five in the world, while Li is the first Chinese woman in history to reach the French Open finals.

Li Na had previously reached the Australian Finals, becoming the first Chinese woman to reach a Grand Slam championship. However, she lost out to Kim Clijsters.

"In Melbourne was like first time in the final. You don't have any experience before you come to the Grand Slam final. But I have one time already, so I think I can do better in this time," Li told the Associated Press.

In regards to her childhood practices for tennis, Li remembers the hard work that wasn't always fun.

"I felt sad because everyday I had to wake up early to practice before going to school," she told CNN. "After school I had to go back to tennis again, and then after tennis I had homework. I didn't have time to play."

On the other side of the net is Schiavone, who at 30 is one year older than Li. Schiavone commented on being an Italian tennis star.

"Last year when I won French Open, the percentages of the people that sign [up] in the tennis club, the young, the kids, are much higher than before. So that's good," Schiavone told the AP. "Of course, we are not millions and millions like in China, because we are totally – how many we are? Seventy million? So it's big difference, but we are Italian. We have big hearts."

Neither player is bothered by their age, which some consider to be on the older side of the spectrum in women's tennis.

"I'm not old. Why do you think I'm old? I feel I'm still young," Li told the AP.

"I would like to play as long as I can, maybe another two or three years," she added, according to CNN. "I like children so hopefully afterwards I can have a baby."

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