Li Na has managed to win her second Grand Slam title and her first in three Australian Open finals on Saturday, emphasizing the rise of China in another classical western sport, a sport which is also somehow related with a country’s GDP.
Li became Asia’s first Grand Slam winner when she was crowned French Open champion in 2011, made the decider at Melbourne Park in 2011 and 2013, but lost both times. This year Li managed to conquer the first Grand Slam of the year, that will take her to third position in the WTA rankings. While the men’s game in China has a long way to go before it can match the feats of its women players (only two men are in the top 300), there is strong evidence that tennis in China is here to stay (Five years ago there were no Chinese men ranked in the world’s top 500.).
The main reason – for the only recent development of the sport in China – is the lack of a tennis tradition. However, tennis as many other western sports (like Football and Basketball) have shown a fast growth in the last 20 yeasr, mainly due to the Beijing 2008 Olympic games, and the heavy national investment on all the Olympic sports.
This Tennis trend seems unstoppable and it is related, with globalization, but it is also a sign of the rising Chinese middle Class, that has the leisure time and resources for a relatively expensive, and somehow posh, sport.
2. The Chinese revolution: Country aims to become world tennis power, http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/the-chinese-revolution-country-aims-to-become-world-tennis-power-8865107.html