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更新时间:2014-1-27 22:14:12 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

Li Na's Win Good For Tennis's Asia Swing

Tennis has been good to Li Na, but Li Na - the new Australian Open champion - has been even better to tennis.

Stacey Allaster, the chief executive of the Women's Tennis Association, says it is no coincidence that the sport has experienced such rapid growth in Asia since Li started to reach the business end of Grand Slam tournaments.

'Li is the most influential player this decade for the growth of women's tennis,' Ms. Allaster said, adding that the WTA had only two events in China in 2008 and now has 10. 'You can't manufacture this champion.'

To capitalize on the growing popularity of the sport in Asia, the WTA is moving its biggest event to the region for the first time. Singapore will host the WTA Championships in October, having secured the rights for the season-ending event for the next five years. Monday, the WTA officially launches its Road to Singapore campaign.

Eight players will qualify for the singles event, determined by the points they pick up at WTA tournaments. Li moved up to third in the official WTA rankings after winning the Australian Open on Saturday, but she is in top spot on the Road to Singapore leaderboard as qualification is determined by the calendar year results.

With her win in Melbourne, Li has a second Grand Slam title to go with her 2011 French Open title, when she became the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam singles event.

The 31-year-old from Wuhan, central China, charmed the watching world Saturday when she gave a victory speech in her inimitable style after defeating Dominika Cibulkova 7-6, 6-0.

'Now I have to thank my team: Max [Eisenbud], my agent, make me rich - thanks a lot,' Li said. She pocketed more than $2.3 million for her win in Melbourne, taking her career prize money earnings to nearly $16 million.

Li then thanked her physio, coach and her husband.

'Now of course, my husband, [you are] even famous in China. Thanks for him [giving] up everything, just traveling with me to be my hitting partner, fix the drinks and fix the rackets. He [does] a lot of jobs. So thanks a lot, you are a nice guy,' Li said, as the crowd in the Rod Laver Arena erupted with laughter. 'Also you are so lucky [to] find me.'

Li was trending high Saturday on Twitter and similar platforms like Sina Weibo in China. Even before the Australian Open victory, the WTA said 53% of its social media fans are from China. Li's success will push that figure higher, but she has great appeal overseas too.

The organizers of the Australian Open said Li was the most popular female player during the tournament in terms of social media attention, with her name mentioned in 214,827 tweets, far ahead of Ana Ivanovic, who was second on the 'social leaderboard' rankings with 193,559 mentions.

Singapore won the rights to host the WTA Championship ahead of Tianjin, a city to the east of Beijing, and Monterrey, in northeast Mexico. It will hold the championship for five years, an expansion from the previous host, Istanbul, which held the event for three years.

'The good news about Singapore is the five-year approach. In Istanbul it was just three... we were only just getting in the groove and then we had to leave,' Ms. Allaster said. 'Singapore is fully committed to five years.'

She added that Singapore was chosen because of its record in hosting major sporting events, including the Formula One grand prix, and high standard of hotels, transport and other infrastructure. 'We trust them,' she said.

'No doubt that Li Na has helped take the foundation of the strategy and escalate it and move it far faster than I ever imagined,' Ms. Allaster added.

In addition to the women's singles tournament, the October event in Singapore will include doubles, a 'legends' event and, for the first time, a junior's event, likely in the under-14s and under-16s category, Ms. Allaster said.

In an effort to promote the WTA's Singapore campaign, the organization has signed 18-time Grand Slam winner Chris Evert as its ambassador. Ms. Evert won the WTA Championships four times in her career. She will be at the official launch in Singapore on Monday, along with Eugenie Bouchard, the 19-year-old player whom Li defeated in the semifinals of the Australian Open last week.

WTA tournaments this year leading up to Singapore include Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome, Montreal, Cincinnati, Wuhan and the China Open in Beijing, which the WTA describes as a cornerstone of its calendar. In total, there will be 17 WTA events in the Asia-Pacific region this year, the organization said.

Singapore will be the ninth city to host the WTA Championships, which began in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1972.

网球对李娜不薄,而刚摘得澳大利亚网球公开赛(Australian Open, 简称:澳网)桂冠的李娜待网球则更厚。

女子网球联合会(Women's Tennis Association, 简称WTA)首席执行长阿拉斯特(Stacey Allaster)表示,自从李娜在大满贯(Grand Slam)赛事中展露出重要影响后,网球运动在亚洲出现了快速增长,这绝非巧合。


为抓住网球运动在亚洲越来越受欢迎的大好时机,WTA首次打算把其最大规模的赛事移师亚洲。新加坡将在今年10月举办WTA总决赛(WTA Championships),而且已经获得在未来五年内举办这项年终盛事的资格。本周一,WTA正式启动“通往新加坡”(Road To Singapore)推广活动。


这是李娜赢得的第二个大满贯桂冠。她在2011年的法国网球公开赛(French Open, 简称:法网)上夺得了职业生涯中的第一个大满贯冠军,也成为首个问鼎大满贯赛事单打桂冠的亚洲选手。

在上周六的澳网女单决赛中,来自中国武汉、31岁的李娜以7-6、6-0连下两城,战胜对手齐布尔科娃(Dominika Cibulkova)。赛后,李娜用特有的“娜式幽默”发表了获奖感言,逗乐了全球观众。

李娜说:“首先我要感谢我的团队:谢谢我的经纪人马克斯(Max Eisenbud),你让我变得富有,非常感谢。”澳网夺冠让李娜拿到了超过230万美元的奖金,使得她在职业生涯中收获的总奖金额达到近1,600万美元。


“当然下一个就是我老公了,他在中国比我还要出名。谢谢他放弃一切,只为陪伴我旅行参赛,做我的陪练,给我弄喝的,帮我修球拍。他做了许多事情。谢谢你,你是个好人。”在罗德拉沃尔中心球场(Rod Laver Arena)的观众笑成一片之际,李娜说:“当然你也很幸运,娶了我。”

上周六推特(Twitter)以及新浪微博(Sina Weibo)等中国本土社交网站上对李娜的讨论非常热烈。WTA说,在李娜澳网夺冠前,WTA就已经有53%的社交媒体粉丝来自中国。李娜的夺冠将使这一比例大大提高,但她在海外也同样拥有大批粉丝。

澳网主办方说,澳网比赛期间,李娜是女选手中社交媒体关注度最高的一位,她的名字出现在了214,827条推特中,远超安娜•伊万诺维奇(Ana Ivanovic)。伊万诺维奇在WTA“社交媒体红人榜”上排名第二,她的名字在193,559条推特中被提及。



她还表示,之所以选中新加坡是因为它有举办世界一级方程式锦标赛(Formula One grand prix)等国际重大赛事的丰富经验,而且新加坡的酒店、交通和其他基础设施都是一流的,我们信赖它们。


阿拉斯特说,除了女子单打比赛和双打比赛外,10月份在新加坡举办的WTA年终总决赛还将包括 “名人”赛和首次的青少年赛(可能分14岁以下和16岁以下组别)等比赛。

为了推广新加坡WTA总决赛,WTA已邀请18次夺得大满贯冠军的网坛传奇巨星克里斯•埃弗特(Chris Evert)担任大使。她在职业生涯中共四次夺得WTA年终总决赛冠军。周一,埃弗特与上周在澳网半决赛中败给李娜的19岁小将尤金妮•布沙尔(Eugenie Bouchard)共同出席了“通往新加坡”活动的启动仪式。


新加坡将成为第九个承办WTA年终总决赛的城市。1972年,首届WTA总决赛在美国佛罗里达州的博卡拉顿(Boca Raton)举行。