RTS Update: Li Makes Major Move
Published January 27, 2014 12:13
Going into the Australian Open she wasn't even in the Top 5, but with one magical fortnight Li Na now sits atop the standings for the Road To Singapore, the year-long journey to the WTA Championships.
Li's triumph at Melbourne Park didn't just lift her to No.1 on the Road To Singapore standings, it also represented what could be the fastest goal-reaching speed of all time. At the beginning of the 2013 season she proclaimed her goal for the year was to be Top 3, which she achieved in the last week of the year; at the beginning of 2014 she announced that her goal was to win another Grand Slam title.
"I want to win another Grand Slam," she said a week before the Australian Open. "It's just like last year. When I said at the beginning of the season that I wanted to break into the Top 3 in the world, a lot of people - most people - didn't believe I could do it. But by the end of the year we had done it.
"This year I've set this new goal, so I'm going to tell everyone about it. My coach, Carlos, says if you're going to set a goal then you need to proclaim it - that way more people can guide you to achieve it. So I hope that I can win another Grand Slam title this year, because that's always been my goal."
Three weeks after saying that, mission accomplished - so now what?
"It's very easy to say I want to win another one, but I know how much work it takes to win a Grand Slam. So if I want to win another one or two, I have to go back on the court and work very hard.
"Otherwise, no chance."
Just outside the Top 5 are Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic, who are tied at No.6. Both of them won lead-up events - Williams in Brisbane, Ivanovic in Auckland - and both made headlines around the world at the Australian Open, with heavy title favorite Williams falling in the fourth round - to Ivanovic.
Ivanovic maintained the WTA Championships in Singapore is her biggest goal for 2014.
"This year I really want to make Singapore, the WTA Championships," she said during her run to the quarterfinals at the Happy Slam. "That's my big goal. I'm aware I have to work hard towards it.
"I had a good start, but there's still plenty more weeks of tennis, and there are still many, many matches to come this season. But that would definitely be my biggest goal for this season."
The doubles standings for the Road To Singapore see Australian Open champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci at No.1, with Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina - the pair they beat for the title, coming from 5-2 down in the third set - at No.2. Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik are No.3.
Keep following the Road To Singapore right here, every week. It's continuing in Paris and Pattaya City this week, with a slew of big names - including Maria Sharapova - trying to keep climbing up...