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Li gets chance at revenge against Robson
August 29, 2013 / 1:32 AM / in 4 years

Li gets chance at revenge against Robson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - China’s Li Na has waited a year for another crack at Britain’s Laura Robson and got her wish on Wednesday as their second-round victories set up a third round U.S. Open showdown.

Li Na of China hits a return to Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

Robson, 19, eliminated Li in the third round at Flushing Meadows last year.

The fifth-seeded Li beat Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson 6-2 6-2 on Arthur Ashe Stadium court and Robson, seeded 30th, advanced with a 6-4 7-6 victory over Caroline Garcia of France, winning the second-set tiebreak 7-5.

“After last year I think both players improved a lot. I‘m really looking forward to playing against her,” Li told reporters about a rematch against former Wimbledon junior champion Robson.

“For sure, really challenging, a lefty, aggressive player. Also, I can prove myself after one year whether I can do better than last year.”

Robson said she well remembered their showdown at the 2012 U.S. Open.

”I remember being so nervous when I walked on court,“ the Australian-born Briton said. ”But just fighting through that and just sticking with her.

Li Na of China (L) is congratulated by Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden after she won their match at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

“I think she made a lot of mistakes in the first set, which helped quite a lot. Hopefully she’ll do that again.”

Li, 31, believes she has improved since taking on Carlos Rodriguez as her coach last year, although it has been a process.

Slideshow (2 Images)

“The first one or two months we have, he didn’t talk too much, because he have to see what I‘m doing,” world number six Li said.

“After, I think especially in the winter training, we talk a lot. Not every day, but every second day we talk a lot to know each other pretty much,” she added about Rodriguez, a former coach of seven-times grand slam winner Justine Henin.

“I was feeling pretty happy the way he is like now. We are communicating.”

Li, a sporting trailblazer in China with more than 10 million fans on Chinese social media, said her relationship with a coach influenced more than just tactics and technique.

“I was feeling that a coach for me not only is about tennis coaching. He teaches me a lot like off of the court. He tells me a lot of experience, especially (for) press conference, communication with friends, with family, so many things.”

Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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