Beijing: China’s top tennis player Li Na, currently having the best season of her career, says she is ready to take her game to the next level and win a Grand Slam.
Li, ranked 10th in the world, has so far this year stormed through to the semifinals at the Australian Open and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, where she fell in straight sets to eventual champion Serena Williams.
The 28-year-old from Wuhan in central China - the first female player in the country’s history to break into the top 10 - has also set her sights on qualifying for the season-ending WTA championships in Doha.
“Winning a Grand Slam is my ultimate goal,” Li told the China Daily. “I am ready at any time.”
So far this year, Li has lost in each of the Slams to the eventual winner - Williams in Melbourne and at Wimbledon, and Italy’s Francesca Schiavone in the third round of the French Open.
“I played my normal game (at Wimbledon),” she said. “I have had a good season and I want to get better and better.”
Li won her first-ever title on grass in the run-up to Wimbledon, defeating former world number one Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the final at Birmingham.
The Chinese star declined to speculate on her chances at the US Open, which begins next month at Flushing Meadows, but said she would play her best for the remainder of the season to earn a spot in Doha.
“I want to go to Doha. That’s the goal of the season,” she said, adding she is having fun on court.
“There have been ups and downs in my career. But when you achieve your goals, you don’t feel the painful part any more,” Li said.