Why Li Na's speech caused a racket in China

Tennis champion Li Na's failure to recognise China in her Australian Open victory speech symbolised the growing tension between individual expression and loyalty to the state.

Newly crowned Australian Open women’s champion Li Na is the toast of China, and deservedly so. Her 7-6, 6-0 victory over Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova makes her the oldest female winner in the open era of the tournament. Although a nation of almost 1.4 billion people and a rising superpower, relatively few of the China’s citizens have prevailed in genuinely international sporting codes such as tennis, which is dominated by Europeans and Americans. This makes Li a genuine pioneer.



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