| 19.5°C Dublin

Tennis: Li enjoys own bit of history

When Li Na, China's first Grand Slam tennis champion, hurled herself into the red clay in ecstasy following her historic French Open win, her support team, all attired in the same yellow T-shirts that she has been wearing this past fortnight, leapt to their feet.

What was that Chinese phrase adorning the front of their shirts, Li was asked afterwards. "It translates as 'Be Yourself'," she said, with her seemingly omnipresent smile.

Be Yourself. Here was a woman who in 2008 deserted the Chinese government programme which had always directed her and went it alone. Yes, she had decided to be herself.

Three years later, thanks to Saturday's 6-4 7-6 victory over Italy's Francesca Schiavone, she has made history with a performance that screamed of shining individuality.

Irish Independent