Li Na is not the only Chinese player making news in Melbourne at the Australian Open. David Wu has become the first Chinese male player to compete in a men's grand slam singles draw this week after winning the Asian wild card play off in Decemebr.
And Wu says he has Li Na to thank for having come this far. WU has had the oppotunity to train with Li Na and work with her team over the past 12 months and the results are for all to see.
Wu, currently ranked no. 186 in the world comented, “Roger Federer is our role model, but he’s kind of too far away from us. So we need to be more realistic because now breaking into the top 100 is our goal.”’
“I’m very pleased with my achievement, but I’m not going to be overly proud of it. I had the computer in my bed and then I wake up in the morning and I see the score,” Wu said, with a laugh.
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The player in question is the quick and diminutive Wu Di, who is also the first Chinese man to play singles in any Grand Slam tournament in the 45-year-old Open era.
“I owe her many things,” Wu said of Li in an interview at Melbourne Park on Sunday on the eve of the event.
Li, the first Chinese to win a Grand Slam singles title, and Wu both come from Wuhan, and though Li is 30 and a national icon and Wu just 21 and obscure, they have become good friends and frequent practice partners.
“He’s like Li Na’s little brother,” said David Moreau, Wu’s coach. “She has given him lots and lots of advice.”
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.