China's Li Na win French Open 2011

China's Li Na became the first Asian player to win a grand slam singles title with a 6-4 7-6 (7/0) victory over defending champion Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final. The sixth seed produced a brilliant display of precision tennis to end her opponent's 13-match winning run at Roland Garros in an hour and 48 minutes. Schiavone mounted an impressive fightback after being comprehensively outplayed for a set and a half but Li raised her game again in the tie-break. The Italian was a hugely popular winner last year with her joie de vivre and unpredictable game, mixing spins and slices in a way rarely seen in the women's game these days.
Li is a much flatter hitter who relies principally on power, but her on-court nous marks her out while she had also shown herself to be mentally very strong in wins over Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. With a 30-year-old taking on a 29-year-old for the first time since the Wimbledon final of 1998 between Jana Novotna and Nathalie Tauziat, much of the talk prior to the match had been about the value of experience.


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