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Tennis

Li Na defends Shenzhen Open title

Former French Open winner Li Na edged out compatriot Peng Shuai 6-4, 7-5 in the final to defend her Shenzhen Open title.

Last updated: 04 Jan 2014 16:05
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The Shenzhen Open win was Li Na's eighth WTA title [AFP]

Li Na edged out compatriot Peng Shuai 6-4, 7-5 to defend her Shenzhen Open title as the top-seed emerged victorious in the second all-Chinese final on the WTA tour.

The 31-year-old Li, Asia's lone grand slam singles champion, overcame a stuttering start on Saturday before completing her first successful title defence on the women's tour in an hour and 49 minutes.

Trailing 3-4 in a showdown between China's top two players, Li bagged seven of the next eight games to move 6-4, 4-1 ahead before fifth-seeded Peng resisted, winning four in a row to lead 5-4 in the second set.

Former French Open champion Li responded by winning the next three games to claim her eighth WTA title while prolonging Peng's wait for a maiden crown in the sixth singles final of her career.

This was a special victory for Li, who featured in the first all-Chinese WTA final against Zheng Jie in 2006 when she was forced to retire through heat exhaustion at the Estoril Open clay court event in Portugal.

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Source:
Reuters
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