A Different Chinese 1-2 In Melbourne

Zheng Jie has withdrawn from the Australian Open, but China still hopes to make a big impression Down Under.

Published December 31, 2010 12:00

A Different Chinese 1-2 In Melbourne
Zheng Jie, Li Na

MELBOURNE, Australia - Fifty weeks ago, two women put China on the Grand Slam map like never before, as Li Na and Zheng Jie both made the semis of the Australian Open. For one of them there will be no shot at a 2011 repeat.

Zheng, who had already reached one Grand Slam semifinal before last year's Australian Open - also achieving the feat two years earlier at Wimbledon - will not make the trip Down Under this time as she continues to rehabilitate her left wrist, on which she had surgery after the US Open. She hasn't played since the last major of 2010, withdrawing from all of her fall tournaments.

"It is a hard decision for me to make," Zheng, 27 years old, said on her Twitter page. "I have plenty of good memories and experiences there, but I believe there will be more Australian Opens for me to attend if I can regain my health."

Zheng aims to return to the WTA at Pattaya City in early February.

Li, who turns 29 in February, became China's first Top 10 player after making her first Grand Slam semifinal in Melbourne. She comes into 2011 ranked No.11 in the world and will be her nation's biggest hope Down Under.

Another Chinese player might have something to say, with Peng Shuai winning the Asian Games in the fall and finishing 2010 at No.72 despite missing 11 tournaments due to illness and injury. She turns 25 a week before the Open and is the third of four Chinese players in the Top 100 (Zhang Shuai is No.90).

Keep up with Chinese women's tennis at www.cn.wtatour.com!

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