Li Na leads China to women's tennis team gold | other | Hindustan Times
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Li Na leads China to women's tennis team gold

other Updated: Nov 16, 2010 15:55 IST

Li Na led China to their first Asian Games women's tennis team gold on Tuesday with a crushing victory over defending champions Taiwan.

Peng Shuai saw off Chang Kai-chen 6-3, 7-5 before world number 11 Li, who is only playing the team event here, over-powered Chan Yung-jan 6-1, 6-1 to secure the title.

"At the last Asian Games in Doha in 2006 we lost in the quarter-finals to Uzbekistan, so this time we were fully prepared," said Li, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open and quarter-finalist at Wimbledon.

Li insisted that she was right to opt out of the singles tournament which starts on Wednesday.

"I discussed it with the national team staff before the Games. It was a good opportunity for the juniors to play at the Asian Games."

Peng, the world number 76, carved out a break in the sixth game of the first set and nipped ahead again in the opening game of the second.

Chang twice needed treatment to a left knee injury, but gamely fought on before her resistance wilted with a lazy, long forehand in the 12th game.

Li, almost 100 places ahead of Chan in the WTA rankings, eased past the Taiwan player to make sure of the gold with breaks in the first and fifth games of the opening set.

That dominance, illustrated by Li's 37 winners in the match to Chan's 17, continued in the second set with breaks in the second and sixth games.

Peng, who had defeated Chang in their only previous meeting at Ponte Vedra Beach's clay courts in the US earlier this year, admitted she can play better despite, like Li coming through the team event undefeated.

"I was very nervous. I didn't play that well," said the 24-year-old.

"I had played her before but today's match was more important so I had a different feeling."