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Chinese Watch: Grass Court Redemption

Every month there's a lot happening with the WTA in China - off the court, on the social media pages of Chinese players, hot topics - catch up on all of the best from April right here...

Published July 14, 2013 12:00

Chinese Watch: Grass Court Redemption
Chinese National Championships

BEIJING, China - Every month there's a lot happening with the WTA in China - off the court, on the social media pages of Chinese players, hot topics - catch up on the best from April right here...

Chinese Nightmare At Roland Garros
They all had nice starts to the clay court season - Li Na made the final in Stuttgart, Zheng Jie got her 12th Top 10 win over Caroline Wozniacki in Brussels, and Peng Shuai would make the final in the Belgian capital - but none of the three Chinese stars were able to make it deep at Roland Garros.

Li fell to Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round, her earliest exit ever at the clay court Grand Slam; Peng was the next one to go, losing seven straight games en route to a 64 63 loss against Petra Kvitova; and Zheng advanced to the third round for the first time in the past five years but couldn't stop Maria Sharapova. There were no Chinese players in the second week for the first time since 2010.

There was a lot of success on the doubles court though, as Zheng Saisai advanced to the quarterfinals with Varvara Lepchenko. The pair reached the semifinals of the Australian Open earlier this year.

Grass Court Redemption For Li
After winning her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros two years ago, Li experienced a hard time on grass, not winning back-to-back matches since then. But everything changed at Wimbledon this year, as Li won four matches in a row to reach the quarterfinals, beating Michaella Krajicek, Simona Halep, Klara Zakopalova and Roberta Vinci before falling in a tight three-setter to Agnieszka Radwanska.

Li came to the net 71 times against Radwanska and saved seven match points before falling. "I was really proud for myself, because at least I was trying to come to the net," she said. "The Top 3 is the main goal this year - I won't change it and will keep trying, because that's where I want to be."

Black Wednesday At Wimbledon
Five former No.1s - Victoria Azarenka, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova and Wozniacki - were out on the first Wednesday at Wimbledon. By the end of the second round only four Top 10 seeds on the women's side were still in the draw, and combined with the men there were only 10 Top 10 seeds left after the second round - joint-worst for Top 10 seeds at Grand Slams, Open Era:

1996 Wimbledon - 10 Top 10 seeds in third round (4 men, 6 women)
1998 Roland Garros - 10 Top 10 seeds in third round (2 men, 8 women)
2013 Wimbledon - 10 Top 10 seeds in third round (6 men, 4 women)

Weibo Of The Month
The Chinese National Championships take place in China right before Wimbledon, and the team of Peng, Zhang Shuai, Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai won the gold medal in the women's group event.

@Peng Shuai
Thank you guys? We should thank ourselves! We walk through everything and never look back, and hope next time we can come back even stronger!

Peng Shuai

@Zheng Jie
Happy Dragon Boat Festival! Look at the Zong Zi for us.

Zheng Jie

What's Hot: Domination, Records, Classics Flashback
As of the end of the French Open, all of the seven biggest tournaments of the year - Grand Slams, Premier Mandatories and Premier 5s, have been dominated by the Top 3 (four for Serena Williams, two for Victoria Azarenka and one for Maria Sharapova). The top seed has won six of those seven.

And some more memories from grass court seasons past - do you remember these five moments...

Wimbledon Memories

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