Media criticism nearly drove Li from game

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Media criticism nearly drove Li from game

Disillusionment with negative reporting in her home media nearly saw Li Na give up the game last year after her early French Open exit, the Chinese No. 1 said at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Li, who won the 2011 French Open to become Asia’s first Grand Slam singles winner, suffered the criticism after being bundled out in the second round at Roland Garros by American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

China’s trailblazer Li has long endured a sensitive relationship with her country’s media, which has been quick to condemn as well as heap praise on their most successful player, but the critical reports that dogged Li in the lead-up to Wimbledon took their toll.

“It was a very negative thing,” Li said. “I could say something, but [what] they would write down in the newspaper was totally wrong.

“They gave me a very tough time when I played the French Open, and it continued to Wimbledon.”

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