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Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott scored 
By krstking2 on Jun 26, 2014 07:36 AM
PARIS -- With a racket in her hand, Li Na holds the key to a burgeoning tennis boom in China. wholesale jerseys . The 29-year-old Li, who is trying to become the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam singles title, will face defending champion Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final on Saturday. "Tennis is something of an overlooked sport in China," the Australian Open runner-up said Friday. "So I hope that it will become more common in China and that more and more people will become fans." A few months ago, Li became the first Chinese player to even reach a Grand Slam final before losing to Kim Clijsters. But in China, a country of 1.3 billion people, the sport is gaining more followers as the middle class grows. Li said she heard 40 million people watched her beat Maria Sharapova on Thursday in the semifinals. Schiavone, the first woman from her country to win a major, went through a similar experience 12 months ago. And an increase in youth tennis in Italy followed. "Last year when I won French Open, the percentages of the people that sign (up) in the tennis club, the young, the kids, are much higher than before. So thats good," Schiavone said. "Of course, we are not millions and millions like in China, because we are totally-- how many we are? Seventy million? "So its big difference, but we are Italian. We have big hearts." Combined, the finalists are the oldest pair in a womens Grand Slam championship match since Wimbledon in 1998, when Jana Novotna, 29, beat Nathalie Tauziat, 30. Li is 29, but any questions about her advanced age -- for a tennis player, that is -- come with some risk. "Im not old," Li pouted when asked about the recent trend of older Grand Slam champions in the womens game. "Why do you think Im old? I feel Im still young." The 30-year-old Schiavone is about 1 1/2 years older than Li, but is taking her second Grand Slam final in stride. "I (will) go to take a walk I think this afternoon and then rest a little bit, get some physiotherapy," Schiavone said of her plans for her day off. "Eating, enjoy with friends. Nothing special. "I dont think now (about) Li Na. I will think tomorrow." When she does get around to it, Schiavone will be able to recall last year, when she became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title and the oldest woman since 1969 to win her first major title. Along the way to that championship, she beat Li 6-4, 6-2 in the third round, evening their head-to-head record to 2-2. That wasnt a surprise, because Schiavone is comfortable on the red clay, while Li has said she was never a fan of the surface. "Its a mix of everything. So you have to be good physically, mentally," Schiavone said of the clay. "You cant play just power, because you have always the time to (defend) and to counterattack." Schiavone is playing in her first final since last years tournament at Roland Garros. And by winning her second major championship, she would become the first woman over 30 to win a Grand Slam title since Martina Navratilova won Wimbledon at the age of 33 in 1990. Before that happens, Schiavone will have to take care of Li on Court Philippe Chatrier. That may not be so easy. "In Melbourne was like first time in the final. You dont have any experience before you come to the Grand Slam final," Li said, remembering her recent experience at the Australian Open. "But I have one time already, so I think I can do better in this time." wholesale nfl jerseys . However, the league trophy looks more out of reach than ever for Manchester United after the reigning champions lost 2-1 at home to Tottenham and fell 11 points behind Arsenal. Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott scored Arsenals goals at Emirates Stadium to beat a resilient Cardiff team which played in front of expected new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and frustrated the hosts for 88 minutes in the driving rain. cheap jerseys .9 seconds left put Detroit ahead, and the Pistons held on for a 99-95 victory over the New York Knicks.OTTAWA - Three-time Olympian Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., headlines the roster for the 2014-15 Canadian short-track team. Hamelin, who has won three gold medals and one silver over the last three Winter Games, plans to continue skating for at least four more years and hopes to compete at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The roster, released Tuesday by Speed Skating Canada, features nine of the 10 team members who represented Canada at the Sochi Olympics. The lineup includes Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., Marie-Eve Drolet of Chicoutimi, Que., Michael Gilday of Yellowknife, Francois Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QQue. cheap nfl jerseys. , Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C., Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., and Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Felicien, Que. Edmontons Jessica Gregg has decided to focus on long-track speedskating. The short-track team members are eligible to compete in the fall World Cup selection competition this September, which serves as a qualifier for the first four World Cups of the season. The athletes may later qualify for the fifth and sixth World Cups, the world championships and the Winter Universiade through their participation at the Canadian Short-Track Championships in mid-January. ' ' '
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