Tennis - Li Na has become the first Chinese player to reach the semi-finals of the US Open after a hard fought three set win over Russian Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday in New York.
The fifth seeded Li Na, a former French Open champion, seemed to be cruising with a 64 31 lead but Makarova fought back to take the second set in a tiebreaker.
Li Na recovered to win the third set 6-2 and advance to the semis where she will meet world no. 1 Serena Williams. Li Na improves to 4-0 lifetime against Makarova.
Commenting after the match, "I'm not so happy with the way I played today. Today was the first time I was feeling so nervous. It started from the beginning of the match until the end of the match. But I was happy that at least I was fighting a lot on the court. Even if I wasn't playing my best tennis, I was still fighting and I'm still in the tournament. I think that's something even better than the last round. Even when I lost the second set, I still felt like, 'Okay, it's still one set all. You still have a chance. Let's just try to go point by point and hang in there, and just stay out there on the court and fight."
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.