Li plays down hopes of home victory at China Open

Beijing: A cautious Li Na has warned local fans not to expect a home victory from the nation`s leading player at the China Open starting on Saturday.

The 28-year-old world number 12 says she will not risk injury by putting herself under pressure at the tournament that runs until Oct. 10.

"I will try my best to go as far as possible, but I will not set any goal for myself. I don`t need pressure," Li, the only seeded local player, told The China Daily on Friday.

"I still need to compete in the Asian Games at the end of the year. To fight for my country is of great honour and importance to me," she added.

Her relaxed approach might worry expectant Chinese fans after she cracked the WTA top ten for the first time in January, before an early exit in US Open and withdrawal from last week`s Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo led to a slip down the list.

"I will not press myself too much to secure the top 10 ranking. I am not young any more. I can no longer take the harsh training and intensive play without being concerned about my physical condition," Asia`s leading female player added.

"Enjoying tennis is more important for me."

However, pressure has been mounting on Li to carry home hopes at the showcase National Tennis Centre in Beijing after fellow Chinese star Zheng Jie withdrew due to a wrist injury.

Earlier in the week, US Open champion Kim Clijsters announced she would skip the tournament after having moles removed from her foot.

The USD 4.5 million China Open is headlined by Danish world number two Caroline Wozniacki and fourth-ranked American Venus Williams.

Bureau Report