Li Na's second chance to become the first Asian to clinch a singles grand slam title on Saturday has stirred patriotic fervour among home fans hoping to celebrate another milestone in China's rise in the sporting world.
Sixth seed Li Na won six games in a row to reach the French Open quarter-finals for the first time in her career this afternoon with a 2-6 6-1 6-3 victory over Petra Kvitova.
The weather gods clearly realised that it was Britain's big day here at the French Open yesterday. After four days of almost unbroken sunshine and rising temperatures, dark clouds scudded across the skies, a sharp wind swirled around the courts and the temperature plummeted.
Kim Clijsters blamed a loss of confidence for her shock second-round defeat by Arantxa Rus at the French Open today.
World No 2 Kim Clijsters has been ruled out for four weeks owing to shoulder and wrist injuries.
News that Graham Norton's chat show may get the chop by budgeting BBC chiefs must have come as a shock to the normally ecstatic Irish TV host, who could be forgiven for feeling a tad persecuted of late. Certainly, when I accosted him at the launch of London's W Hotel last week, he seemed keen to put me right on one recent media misconception: that Claudia Winkleman is being lined up for a rival programme on Channel 4, potentially in the same Friday time-slot as his BBC1 show.
The enchanting Thomasina Miers may already have triumphed in one reality TV competition, but she's keen to take on another. The winner of MasterChef 2005 – who now boasts both a chain of Mexican restaurants (Wahaca) and a forthcoming Channel Five series of her own – Miers, 35, tells me her televisual appetite remains unsatisfied.
It's time to stop the sniping, Wozniacki's a worthy No 1 because of her all-year-round excellence
Andy Murray's hopes of returning to No 4 in today's updated world rankings list were dashed yesterday when Robin Soderling successfully defended his indoor title at Rotterdam, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the final. Soderling, whose only defeat in three tournaments this year was against Alexandr Dolgopolov in the fourth round of the Australian Open, had to beat Tsonga to keep his place in the top four.
Eleven years after making her Australian Open debut, eight years after announcing what proved to be a short-lived engagement to the local hero Lleyton Hewitt and seven years after losing in her only previous final here, "Aussie Kim" finally lived up to her name.
Kim Clijsters finally won her first Australian Open title and the fourth major of her career, wiping tears from her eyes after she beat Li Na 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 today in the Australian Open final.
The Asian Tennis Federation hopes that the appearance of Li Na in today's Australian Open final here against Kim Clijsters will bolster the continent's chances of hosting the equivalent of a fifth Grand Slam tournament.
China has broken through many sporting barriers over the last two decades but the world's most populous nation has yet to produce a Grand Slam champion. Li Na is hoping to change all that. The 28-year-old world No 11 reached the Australian Open semi-finals for the second year in succession here yesterday and has good reason to believe she can improve on her performance of 12 months ago.
The only time that Andy Murray has played Alexandr Dolgopolov was five years ago in a Davis Cup tie at the Odessa Lawn Tennis Club in a quiet suburb of the Black Sea resort. Murray won in straight sets in front of a few hundred spectators who had to dodge packs of stray dogs on their way into the tiny club. The clay court was surrounded by trees and the players cleared away leaves before the start of play.
Justine Henin’s hopes of repeating her memorable run to the final of last year’s Australian Open evaporated in the heat of another day of glorious sunshine here today. The 28-year-old Belgian was the second favourite to win the title, behind her compatriot Kim Clijsters, but was outplayed by a rejuvenated Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won their third-round match 6-4, 7-6.
It is a lesson many of us learn sooner or later: don't write anything in a text message or an email that would be embarrassing if made public. For Todd Woodbridge, a former Wimbledon doubles champion turned tennis pundit, that lesson came yesterday in front of a packed stadium. And a worldwide TV audience.