Wimbledon 2013: Li Na overcomes pre-match jitters to reach quarter-finals for third time


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The Independent Online

Li Na overcame pre-match jitters to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for a third time as she crushed Italian Roberta Vinci's hopes of a debut in the last eight.

China's former French Open champion was selected in Time magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people earlier this year.

Her success on the women's tour and on the grand slam stage has sparked soaring participation levels in tennis at home, and there could be more high achievement to celebrate in the coming days for the 31-year-old and her fanbase.

Sixth seed Li was placed on Court Three today and was a 6-2 6-0 winner in just 55 minutes, breaking serve six times and hitting a head-spinning number of winners as Vinci failed to make her mark on the contest.

The only momentary blip from Li came when 5-0 ahead in the opening set, but the brief lapse was to prove inconsequential.

She reached the last four at Wimbledon on her debut in 2006 and matched that run in 2010, but second-round defeats in the last two years proved a disappointing return.

The resounding manner of the win offered a perfect contrast to Li's pre-match thoughts.

“Before I got to the court I was so nervous,” Li said.

“I couldn't come to the court totally relaxed. This is the fourth round. I knew that if I could get to the quarter-finals tomorrow would be a bonus. I wanted to cash in the bonus.

“I've been feeling pretty good up to this point and I'm still in the tournament.”