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Sports

AFP
July 11, 2018

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Li Na hails Serena comeback

LONDON: Li Na said she was stunned by Serena Williams’ impressive comeback from giving birth and said her old rival has a golden chance to reclaim her Wimbledon crown.

Li is 36 and a mother like Williams but Asia’s greatest-ever player quit the tour four years ago and now concentrates on bringing up her young family in Beijing.The 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open champion is not tempted to make a comeback of her own, as she watches seven-time Wimbledon winner Williams compete at the All England Club for the first time since the US great won the 2016 title.

“How fit she looks, especially after having a baby. I think she has a very big chance to win the trophy again,” the former world number two told reporters at the All England Club.

“I’m surprised she’s playing so well. It’s very tough, especially for women, to find the balance between your children and tennis. But I think she’s doing well.

“After four years, I’m still not trying to come back. Especially for the woman, the body changes a lot. And you have at least four or five months where you can’t sleep for the whole night.

When the baby cries or moves, the woman always wakes up the very next second, so it’s very tough.”Few female players have succeeded at Grand Slam level after becoming mums.

Belgium’s Kim Clijsters returned to win the 2009 US Open, while Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley won majors after giving birth in an era when the physical demands on players were less intense.

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