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Chinese Watch: New Year, New Goals

It has been a big month for Chinese tennis, with the very best from China lifting big trophies and setting new career-high rankings - so what's next for Li Na, Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai?

Published February 20, 2014 12:11

There's always a lot happening in the world of women's tennis in China - on the court, off the court, Weibo accounts of the Chinese players... catch up on it all in the latest instalment of Chinese Watch!

Li's Dream Come True In Melbourne
After reaching her goal for 2013 in the last tournament of the year - breaking into the Top 3, which she did after the WTA Championships - Li Na didn't take anywhere near as long to reach her goal for 2014, which was winning another Grand Slam title. After defending her title at the lead-up tournament in Shenzhen she won the Australian Open. And there was some icing on the cake, too - this week the Chinese rose from No.3 to No.2, raising the bar on her record for highest-ranked Asian player ever.

"To go to No.2 in the world is definitely a proud accomplishment for me and my team," Li said. "We have worked very hard and look to improve every week. It is an exciting time for tennis in China.

"I'm confident that younger players will do even better than what we've achieved."

Peng: China's First World No.1
Peng Shuai and Hsieh Su-Wei won five WTA doubles titles together during a fantastic 2013 season, including Wimbledon and the WTA Championships, and after winning their first WTA doubles title of 2014 in Doha, they bumped Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci from the top of the rankings, Peng rising to No.1 and Hsieh to No.2 - the highest rankings for their countries in either discipline, male or female.

Zhang: Striving For Top 30
Zhang Shuai soared from outside the Top 100 to No.51 last fall, and though she hasn't had the greatest start to 2014, she has moved into the Top 50 in recent weeks - it was a goal for the Chinese.

"Breaking into Top 50 was always my goal. I'm so happy that I made it finally," Zhang said from Doha. "I had three goals for last season - back into Top 100, equal my career-best ranking and break into Top 50, and now I have them all. I'm looking forward to the next goal, and that will be the Top 30."

Meanwhile, Zhang is still seeking her first main draw victory at a Grand Slam. "I had expectations at the Australian Open but my opponent was playing very well," Zhang said Zhang. "I really wanted to be the winner but everything I did was not enough. I did have some great victories in the Premier events, and we have my favorite Grand Slams on the way with the French Open and Wimbledon, so we will see."

Weibo Of The Month
@LiNa
Although failed in my first two tries before, finally I can hug you at my favorite Grand Slam, thank you.
Li Na

@ZhengJie
Happy Lantern Festival to everyone, Cook Zheng is working!
Zheng Jie

@ZhangShuai
Look who we met here in Doha?
Zhang Shuai

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