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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 19:33, January 17, 2007
Chinese woman Li advances in Australian Open
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Chinese woman Li Na eased past the Russian veteran Elena Bovina 6-4, 6-3 to reach the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday.

The world No. 16, who made breakthroughs for China including first Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon last year, took one hour and 21 minutes to clinch the first round victory.

"It's a tough game, " said Li. "she had good serve and used to be a top 15 players.

"She is still very strong although she doesn't rank well due to injuries she suffered these two years."

Both players had their first two serves secured before Li managed to break serve first to make it 4-2.

Bovina rallied to break one set back but Li denied to give her more chance, sealing the victory with another serve break point.

Li said warm-up victories handed to her more confidence. She said: "I think I trust more on myself than before, especially after several wins in Sydney at the beginning of the year."

Li came out strong in the second set as she broke the Russian's serve three times to clinch the first win.

The 25-year-old Chinese women owed her progress to the help from her new personal coach -- her husband Jiang Shan who failed to accompany her to Melbourne due to visa problem.

"I call him everyday here and I just now sent him a message after the match, " said she.

"I do think he helps me a lot as I feel much better with his coaching. Maybe it's because I could communicate better with him than others.

"He is a good man with tolerance and patience, especially to my bad temper. When I lose my temper, he always repeat his words with very gentle sweet voice --'I do everything good to you, you know', and then everything is OK, " said Li with sweet smile.

"I think he will travel with me from Dubai and I believe my games will be more smooth and steady with him, " added she.

Li is to play against Spanish Lourdes Dominguez Lino, who outplayed Ahsha Rolle of the United States 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday.

Source: Xinhua

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