MELBOURNE, Jan 27 Milestones in the progress of
Chinese women's tennis after Li Na reached the final of the
Australian Open on Thursday:
August - Sun Tiantian and Li Ting win China's first Olympic
gold medal in the sport in the women's doubles at the Athens
October - Li Na is the first Chinese to win a WTA Tour
singles title, in Guangzhou.
January - Zheng Jie wins her first WTA Tour title at Hobart.
January - Zheng Jie and Yan Zi win China's first grand slam
title in the women's doubles at the Australian Open.
May - Zheng wins the first all-Chinese final at a WTA event
when Li Na withdraws injured from the Estoril final.
June - Li Na becomes the first Chinese player to reach the
quarter-finals of grand slam at Wimbledon. Zheng and Yan win a
second grand slam doubles title.
July - Li Na and Zheng lead China's team into the Fed Cup
World Group for the first time with a victory over Germany in
August - Li Na becomes the first Chinese player to reach the
top 20 in the world rankings.
June - Zheng, a 133rd-ranked wildcard, beats top seed Ana
Ivanovic on her way to the semi-finals at Wimbledon, the first
Chinese to reach the last four at a grand slam.
August - Zheng and Yan win bronze in women's doubles at the
Beijing Olympics, while Li Na misses out on a medal after defeat
to Vera Zvonareva in the bronze medal match.
January - Zheng and Li Na reach the last four at the
Australian Open, the first time China has had two players in the
last four at a grand slam. Lose to Justine Henin and eventual
champion Serena Williams respectively.
- Li Na becomes the first Chinese player to reach the
women's top 10 in the world rankings.
June - Li Na wins her third WTA tour title at the Edgbaston
Classic Wimbledon warm-up, beating Maria Sharapova in the final.
- Li Na reaches quarter-finals at Wimbledon for a second
time, losing to Serena Williams.
January - Li comes back from 5-0 down in the first set to
beat Kim Clijsters in the final and win the Sydney
International, her first "premier" level WTA title.
- Peng Shuai beats seventh seed Jelena Jankovic on her way
to her first grand slam fourth round appearance at Melbourne
- Li beats world number one and top seed Caroline Wozniacki
in the semi-finals of the Australian Open to become the first
Chinese to reach a grand slam singles final.
(Compiled by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien)
sports blog Left Field go to: blogs.reuters.com/sport))
Please click on for more tennis stories