Li relieved to be out of spotlight

China's Li Na admits she is relieved to be the forgotten woman at Wimbledon this year after an uncomfortable experience in the spotlight following her French Open triumph 12 months ago.

Li became the first Asian to win a Grand Slam when she defeated Francesca Schiavone in the 2011 Roland Garros final, but that historic victory brought her an unwanted level of scrutiny.

When Li arrived at Wimbledon just two weeks after her breakthrough success in Paris, she found her life had changed dramatically.

She had to deal with a flood of requests for interviews and was followed around by groups of Chinese fans fascinated by her success.

The flurry of interest in her life on and off the court proved too much of a distraction and Li crashed out of Wimbledon in the second round against Sabine Lisicki.

Now, a year later, the 30-year-old is back at the All England Club and finding the relative anonymity much more to her liking.

"I'm feeling more free this year," Li said. "Last year I came here after winning in Paris and I just felt like someone was always following me.

"I couldn't do so many things for my private time. So now it is just back to normal.

"If you're always feeling that someone is looking at you, and you have security next to you, you don't feel very comfortable.

"Now I can do much practice as I can. I can concentrate on the court."

Li still recalls with horror how everyone wanted a piece of her following the French Open.

But despite her unhappy experience last year, she still relishes her trips to Wimbledon and is keen to make amends for her early exit.

"I always look forward to Wimbledon. Last year I didn't do well, so I wish I can do much better this year," she said.

"I still remember after the French Open my agent couldn't sleep for two weeks, a month, because the demand was so much.

"You really couldn't always think about what you were doing last year. But time can change everything. I'm back at Wimbledon again and just looking forward to competing this year."

Being back at Wimbledon also means dealing with the inevitable rain delays and more bad weather is forecast for the first week of this year's tournament.

Li is too experienced to let that affect her though.

"Every year is the same. Some days with rain coming we have to wait and then sometimes we have to come to the court straightaway," she said.

"It's not tough. I have been here so many years, so you have to get used to it. For everyone it's the same."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia delays execution of Filipina drug convict
    Indonesia delays execution of Filipina drug convict

    The execution of a Filipina drug convict by an Indonesian firing squad was delayed at the last minute after one of her recruiters surrendered to police in the Philippines, the attorney general's spokesman said on Wednesday. "The execution of Mary Jane (Veloso) has been postponed because there was a request from the Philippine president related to a perpetrator suspected of human trafficking who surrendered herself in the Philippines," said Tony Spontana, spokesman for the attorney general. …

  • Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather
    Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather

    Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao is confident he can beat American arch-rival Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday with the power of God, after abandoning a life he said was packed with sin condemning him to hell. Pacquiao is in top form both in mind and spirit after he traded his boozing, gambling and womanising ways for a devout life of prayer, his spiritual adviser, Jeric Soriano, told AFP in a recent Manila interview. Except the world got to him," Soriano said of Pacquiao's …

  • Profiles of foreigners due to be executed in Indonesia
    Profiles of foreigners due to be executed in Indonesia

    Eight foreign drug convicts are set to be executed in Indonesia after losing all appeals for clemency. Here are brief profiles of the inmates, who include two from Australia, one each from Brazil and the Philippines, and four from Africa. Myuran Sukumaran A ringleader of the Bali Nine drugs smuggling syndicate, Sukumaran was born in London in 1981 and moved with his Sri Lankan family to Australia when he was a child. Enticed by the prospect of easy money, in 2005 he helped to organise a …

  • Indonesia says will not delay execution of Filipina convict
    Indonesia says will not delay execution of Filipina convict

    JAKARTA (Reuters) - The execution of a Filipina drug convict by an Indonesian firing squad will not be delayed despite last-minute appeals by the Philippine government, the attorney general said on Tuesday. Indonesian President Joko Widodo earlier met with a migrant workers' group to discuss the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who is one of nine people set to be executed within hours. (Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco in MANLIA and Gayatri Suroyo in JAKARTA; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) …

  • Nine face midnight firing squad in Indonesia, hopes for reprieve gone
    Nine face midnight firing squad in Indonesia, hopes for reprieve gone

    By Kanupriya Kapoor CILACAP, Indonesia (Reuters) - Nine drug traffickers held emotional farewell meetings with their families at an Indonesian prison on Tuesday, after Jakarta rejected last-ditch pleas from around the world for clemency and ordered their mass execution to proceed within hours. "I won't see him again," said Raji Sukumaran, the mother of an Australian who will go before a firing squad along with a fellow countryman and convicts from Nigeria, Brazil, the Philippines and …

  • Aquino appeals to Indonesia one more time to keep Filipina alive
    Aquino appeals to Indonesia one more time to keep Filipina alive

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he made one last appeal to the Indonesian government to spare a Filipina among nine prisoners set to be executed for drug trafficking on Tuesday as she could be a vital witness in prosecuting drug syndicates. It was Aquino's third personal appeal, after the Indonesian attorney general rejected the Philippines' request on Monday for a second judicial review of the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who her lawyers say merely served as an unknowing mule to drug …

  • Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000
    Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000

    Are you hunting for an affordable motorcycle which you can use for personal use or a family service vehicle? Carmudi PH presents to you some of the cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines today. These budget friendly motorbikes will surely not hurt your pockets, and you may even buy them on the spot instead of monthly […] The post Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000 appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Indonesia gears up for executions as families wail in grief
    Indonesia gears up for executions as families wail in grief

    Indonesia made final preparations Tuesday to execute eight foreigners by firing squad, as family members wailed in grief during last visits to their loved ones and ambulances carrying white coffins arrived at the drug convicts' prison. Relatives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the Australian ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin trafficking group, arrived at Nusakambangan prison calling for mercy for their loved ones, with Sukumaran's sister collapsing in grief. They are among …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options