Li Na left to rue tumbles as bid for second grand slam title ends in defeat at Australian open
Li Na was left to wonder what might have been had she not twice fallen on court on her way to Australian Open defeat.
Last Updated: 26/01/13 1:45pm
The Chinese won an error-strewn first set in the Melbourne final with Victoria Azarenka but, at 2-3 down in the second, her left ankle required lengthy treatment after a heavy fall.
Li squared the set only to lose it 6-4 and, although her movement remained good, another tumble on the ankle at 2-1 in the decider left her both hurt and dazed as her head banged off the hard court.
Azarenka went on to win 4-6 6-4 6-3, and Li said: "I think I was a little bit worried when I fell down and my head hit the floor, because for two seconds I couldn't really see anything. It was totally black.
"So when the physio came, she was like, 'Focus on my finger'. I started laughing. I was thinking, 'This is a tennis court, not a hospital'.
"After the match, I was feeling like, 'How many years since I fell down on the court?' I mean, it was amazing today. It was twice on the court.
"Maybe if I didn't fall down, it's another story. You never know. But the truth is, I did fall down, so nothing can change."
Li's run to the final capped an upturn in fortunes under new coach Carlos Rodriguez after her form slumped in the wake of success at the 2011 French Open.
She said: "Right now I'm really enjoying life, enjoying tennis. Also, I'm feeling more relaxed. Even today, I still wasn't feeling stress on the court or before the match."