China seeks a new star to fill Li Na’s tennis shoes

World Today

Chinese two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na is in retirement and not defending her title at Australian Open in 2015. Other Chinese tennis players’ performances have not been enough to attract the same level of attention as before. China is seeking a new star to fill the void left by Li Na.

Runner-up in the women’s doubles for the cross-strait pairing of Zheng Jie and Chan Yung-jan and Peng Shuai participates in the last 16.

That’s the best performance of the Chinese “golden flowers” at the Australian Open in 2015.

While this is good news, the results have left many unsatisfied.

Especially when comparing to Li Na’s glorious championship title at Melbourne Park in 2014.

China seeks a new star to fill Li Na’s tennis shoes

China seeks a new star to fill Li Na’s tennis shoes

Chinese two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na is in retirement and not defending her title at Australian Open in 2015. Other Chinese tennis players’ performances have not been enough to attract the same level of attention as before. China is seeking a new star to fill the void left by Li Na.

Four months after a tearful goodbye from the China’s first ever Grand Slam champion, the country is desperately looking for its next super star on the court.

The question looms whether China can sustain its progress to become a tennis power.

There are four female Chinese players ranked in the Women’s Tennis Association’s top 100, led by Peng Shuai. Behind Peng Shuai is Zhang Shuai, Zheng SaiSai and Zheng Jie.

Others are working to make their way into the top players circle.

The search for the next Li Na has gone beyond these established names.

17-year-old Xu Shilin, who’s the English nickname is Coco, has entered people’s sight after winning the gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014.

She has told the media her goal is to win a Grand Slam title before she’s 20.

That would be a height no Chinese tennis players have ever reached.

Things are going in the right direction, Xu has become the first Chinese girl to be No. 1 in the world junior rankings.

Many top juniors, just like Xu, are receiving the best training abroad and making their efforts seen.

China is also seeing budding tennis academies across the country and an estimated 14 million people regularly play the sport.

Filling the void left by Li Na is going to be a matter of time, plus a pinch of luck.