Chinese tennis superstar and 2011 French Open champion Li Na vowed to overcome her stage fright that she said crippled her in her semi-final loss to Serena Williams in the US Open.
Li last defeated Williams in 2008, but has not won a set against the American in the pair’s last seven meetings. She lost the US Open semi-final 6-0, 6-3 to Williams, who is the defending champion.
AFP reports that Li blamed stage fright and nerves for her poor performance:
“I should not be nervous like this because it’s not the first time I have played in the semi-finals,” said the 31-year-old.
“But when I walked on the court I felt the court was so big. I felt like it was a football stadium. For Serena it was like a table tennis court. I could not focus. I think I have to find out.”
“Today it didn’t matter who is the opponent,” she insisted. “The problem is myself because today I cannot face to the problem. Even if I was playing the 100th-ranked player it would still be the same problem.”
“I really have to face this thing for the next step. It’s not about the technique. It’s about the problem about myself.”
Asked to comment on Williams’ romantic relationship with her coach, Li, whose husband works as her hitting partner and used to be her coach, joked: “Don’t get married, OK?”