It took Li Na 10 match points opportunities and 21 minutes to finish the last game but eventually, she did. Na won 6-1, 6-4 3 deficit to reach the quarterfinals for the third time in Indian Wells.
She was asked if 11 is a lucky number in Chinese numerology, since she needed 11 match points to win the match. Apparently not until today, as Li Na replies:
“Oh, I have 11? Wow. Yeah, she’s pretty good. She save a lot of match points. Only I can say.”
“The funny thing is beginning of the game I was feeling tight, nervous, and then I was feeling like what’s going on? Why can’t I finish the match? “
Li Na also had a controversial bad call during the match.
Li Na is often reminded of a match at Wimbledon which she didn’t challenge a bad call and lost the match. So now, very often, she will challenge calls she thinks its wrong. So, no surprise that happened yesterday in Indian Wells.
“But at least I have good eye or I still keep it for challenging. If I didn’t have challenging anymore I cannot have a chance.” Li Na explains.
In her press conference she mentioned that: “ I even didn’t shower. I come to the press conference.” Yeah (smiling).”
Lucia Hoffman, She is in Indian Wells, CA covering the BNP Paribas Open and is a tennis contributor to Inside Tennis Magazine.
Love her, love her, love her! Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
As Billie Jean King, once said, pressure is a privilege. But for Li Na, the great expectations of being a top seed is tough. She has been in unchartered territory in Indian Wells. It is the first time in her career she has been seeded No 1. And she feels the pressure.
“Always tough” she says. “Because first time to be top seed in a big tournament and never have, how do you say, experience before.”
“I try feeling the same, but it is different, you know.”
She tries to describe the types of pressure she feels as the top seed and the expectations attached to it.
“I think it is everything. Before if I come to tournament, maybe I was like No 6 or No 7 seed, you know, now is high attention, everyone is focused.”
Overall, Li Na is happy with her progress in the tournament.
“Yes, at least I can win the last point, and still, stay in the tournament.” She says.
Li Na also answered a few more questions:
BEING FROM WORLD’ BIGGEST COUNTRY:
“I cannot make every single person understand how the sport is. If you are doing the sport, for sure you know, you cannot win all the times.”
TENNIS IN CHINA:
“Still have to improve a lot.”
ON BEING LUCKY:
I’m already have two in my pocket. Nobody takes it.
AS LONG AS YOU LOVE IT:
“I still continue my love to tennis life, so I just continue to do that. I don’t care how the other people say.”
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: WUHAN IN CHINA:
“It is a huge city. It is a very special city for me. i was born there, grow up in there.”
“Yes, of course, I will talk to Carlos after, because until now we still haven’t seen each other. We will talk about the serve later.”
Being a two time Grand Slam Champion and one of the best players in the world ads to the pressure Li Na feels on the tour. But for the fans, all they have to do is : love her, love her, love her!
Flavia Pennetta defeated Camila Giorgi in Indian Wells, 61, 36, 61. And she answers a few questions after her match. She thinks Fognini is an introvert, she doesn’t know Giorgi that well, and Towsend moves well ,even though she is not that fit.
“I’m try to do my best all the time in big events, small events. There is no difference for me. I just try to play my tennis.I work hard and everything is coming out in the last seven, eight months, so I’m really happy about that.”
ON CALLING IT A DAY:
After Wimbledon it was tough ,she said. “When everything is going in wrong way, you think, Okay, I don’t want to practice; I don’t want to do this or do that. But if you still do it, there is one point you don’t know why, just happen.”
WHAT A GIRL NEEDS ON THE TOUR:
“Of course I travel with my physio. Before I didn’t travel with him all year, and now I’m starting to travel with Massimo. Massimo Tosella is the name, and I been working with him since seven years. This year we decide to doing full time because I really need it.”
“Just to improve my tennis. I mean, I like to be better like a player. I think if you get if you be better and if you try to improve your game, serve, forehand, and my return, then I think the results is gonna come. But I don’t have like, I want to be No. 10 or something like that. Not for the moment.”
“So now it’s perfect for Italy. I mean, in women’s and men we have so many player. We have a great result in almost every week. It’s a good moment for tennis in Italy, and I hope to be better just day by day. The Italian women’s one is already since long time really consistent. The men are just starting now with Fabio, because he’s like crazy, but it’s unbelievable the way he play.
You’re good friends with Fabio off court.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Yeah.
Do you think he’s misunderstood, or is his craziness accurate?
“Sometimes it’s in court it’s look in the way he not is. I mean, it’s really completely different. But in the court when it’s going just too many things, he cannot handle it very well.
But it’s completely sometimes the people say, Oh, you know, he’s walking like this, but it’s completely
Q. Shy, introverted. FLAVIA PENNETTA: Yeah.
“About who? She’s also really young and she have unbelievable shots. I think also she need more need to be more consistent. She’s not that fit, but she’s powerful. She can move, she can move well,”
“Well, she’s young comparing with us, so it’s normal we don’t know her really well because we don’t have a lot of time to spend with her. But I think in the future she’s gonna be in the Fed Cup team, so we’re gonna have time to know more about Camila like a person and not like a player. But for the moment she’s really like friendly and we have a good time when we see each other.
“Physically she’s stronger. She have everything. She have a good potential, really good potential, I think.”
ON BEING AROUND THE BLOCK:
“Well, when I start everything was like new, and when you’re young you just want to win.”
AS TIME GOES BY:
“I think when the year is coming you just understand what you have to do better, and you just realize what is important. For me, it’s really important to have a team, a good team. I have a good coach inside the court and outside the court”.
“Today was an accident. I lost”.
NUMBERS DO MATTER:
“I don’t know how to play tennis different way, 50%. I play with all 100%, all my 100% every week. Today my 100% was here; sometimes it’s here. But I played with my 100% today was not enough. I gonna play with my 100% in Miami. Let’s see if my 100% in Miami still here or is here. “
“And talking about French Open, remain a lot about the French Open. My goal is try to be one of the candidates. To be one of the candidates, I need to play well in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, and Rome to arrive with the right feelings. That’s what I gonna try.”
“But at the end, when you are on the limit, this thing happen. You can lose. I lost today.”
“No. Forget about the back. I don’t want to talk anymore about the back because I am fine with the back. I didn’t have bad feelings with my back. The bad feelings was with the forehand and with the backhand (smiling). “
FACTS in IW:
Rafael Nadal lost to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round of Indian Wells 6 3, 3 6, 7 6.
The two met in the finals of the Rio Open, in Brazil last month. The Ukrainian player, had lost all previous 10 sets he played against Nadal.
Nadal had not lost before the semi finals in Indian Wells since 2004.
Nadal did say his opponent played well.
After defeating Rafael Nadal 6-3,3-6.7-6 in the third round in Indian Wells, Alexandr Dolgopolov said this win was big.
“I feel great, I mean, as after every win, of course. This one was bigger and I beat the defending champion, No. 1 in the world.I guess I just need to enjoy this evening and forget about it tomorrow and try to compete the rest of the tournament. I’m still in. That’s great, and I’m really happy I could manage to win today.”
The talented Ukrainian, has lost 10 sets to Nadal on their previous encounters. Perhaps that explains the lack of confidence, serving 5-2 in third set, and got broken at love. When asked if perhaps his chance had gone, after letting Nadal back into the match, Alexandr says:
“Not really. I mean, I knew I’m playing well enough to win. The point was just not to get too nervous. I knew he’s going to make me play that game and not miss much, and I just gave it away. That was all on me. I didn’t serve, didn’t play well, and I just tried to forget about that and come back.I think I did quite well service game at 5 All, and the tiebreak was really good at the end for me.”
Dolgopolov will play Fabio Fognini next.