Li feat will aid Asia`s bid for "fifth slam": ATF chief

New Delhi: Li Na`s spectacular progress to the final of the Australian Open will boost the continent`s bid to host a "fifth grand slam", the Asian Tennis Federation`s chief told reporters on Friday.

Li stunned world number one Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday to become the first Chinese to reach a grand slam singles final.

The importance of the win goes even further, according to ATF President Anil Kumar Khanna.

"This is a real major step forward for Asian tennis," the Indian official told reporters.

"This will go a long way in helping Asia to get a major tennis event, a grand slam-like tournament, maybe in the next couple of years."

Khanna, also the secretary general of the All India Tennis Association, did not reveal details but said discussions were on with all parties concerned to fulfil the continent`s dream of its own major.

Asked about possible venues, Khanna said, "There are plenty of nice destinations in China, India, Qatar, Dubai and all are willing to host the event."

Tennis boasts four blue riband grand slam tournaments featuring both men and women players -- the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

Bureau Report

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