Updated: 12/31/2013 20:45 | By Agence France-Presse

Zvonareva falls to China's Li after long absence

Chinese tennis star Li Na shone at the Shenzhen Open on Tuesday, besting Russia's Vera Zvonareva as the former World No. 2 made her return to the court after a 17-month hiatus.

Zvonareva falls to China's Li after long absence

Li Na serves to the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova during their WTA Championships semi-final match in Istanbul on October 26, 2013

The 31-year-old Li, Asia's highest-ranked player in tennis history, beat Zvonareva 7-5 6-3 in one hour and 46 minutes.

It was the first singles event for Zvonareva since the 2012 London Olympics, after which the 29-year-old two-time Grand Slam champion was sidelined due to illness and a shoulder injury.

Zvonareva had triumphed over Li in four of their last five meetings, the most recent of which came in 2010.

Taiwan's Chan Yung-Jan, meanwhile, won a surprise victory over sixth-seed Zhang Shuai of China. Zhang took the first set 6-3, but Chan turned up the heat and battled back to win the next two, 6-4 and 6-2.

The year 2013 marks the second year for the Shenzhen Open, which comes as Li's success has ignited a new Chinese interest in tennis.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn



facebook recommendations


  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958