Li Na Wins Australian Open Grand Slam, Chinese Reactions

Li Na wins 2014 Australian Open

Chinese female tennis player Li Na won the Australian Open yesterday (25th) and it has already become the hottest post of the week on leading Chinese microblogging social network Sina Weibo, with over 60k upvotes, 120k forwards, and 20k comments…

On Sina Weibo:

@新浪体育: #Li Na Australian Open Champion#!!! The first Chinese singles champion in the hundred year history of the Australian Open! Congratulations @李娜 [@Li Na]!!!!!!!! http://t.cn/8FVgk9S

Comments from Sina Weibo:

孔先生Sun:

As a professional athlete with an international field of view, Li Na rushed to end the match before Xinwen Lianbo and capture the Australian Open championships.

Mc_田野:

Li Na winning a Grand Slam or Ding Junhui winning a snooker world championships has much more significance than Chinese ping-pong and badminton winning 10 Olympic championships! If you disagree, come and argue!

汪汪汪汪永浩:

It’s not like the country has spent any money on her, so these honors belong not to the country but to herself.

肖佳锐-style:

Li Na’s second Grand Slam, successfully surpassing Yao Ming, Liu Xiang, Sun Yang, becoming #1 in the Heavenly Kingdom‘s sports circles!

Sky_林蔚成:

Too wonderful, Li Na. The acceptance speech was very humorous, and not just brainwashed words like only about thanking the country and the Party. The pride [of the nation/people] outside the state sports system. I support you! [赞][赞][赞][赞]

The second hottest post of the week is also about Li Na’s victory, and is from Li Na’s own account, with over 170k upvotes, 90k forwards, and 50k comments…

On Sina Weibo:

@李娜: Twice I’ve encountered you, and finally I’ve obtained your favor. To hold you at my favorite Grand Slam, thank you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

Comments from Sina Weibo:

雅杰露水:

Some people are resentful towards Li Na for using English in her acceptance speech, asking how could she not have used Chinese during such a moment that brings glory to the motherland? According to this logic, must Novak Djokovic speak Serbian? Roger Federer speak German? Rafael Nadal speak Spanish? Maria Sharapova speak Russian? If Dominika Cibulková is going to win, then she has to whip out Slovak? Oh yeah, and Li Na can’t just speak putonghua [Mandarin], it has to be Wuhanese, otherwise her hometown people will be furious! Just how insecure must one be to have this kind of logic?

愤怒的酱油瓶:

Li Na wins and all the crazies have come out one by one. Patriotic or not patriotic, speaking Chinese or speaking English, as if not arguing unnecessarily would kill them. However, you can scream all you want and she’ll probably be too lazy to give you even a second glance. Two-time Grand Slam winner, first Australian Open champion, plays tennis well, makes lots of money, living who knows how comfortably, so who would listen to the dogs bark? ╮(╯▽╰)╭ Those people who can dissect a person’s words eight different meanings to talk nonsense should just go check the balance in their own bank account.

所谓的圆度规:

Those stupid cunts at the General Administration of Sports must be pissed, because they can’t get a single cent.

默默的淘淘:

My mother said, you being so nervous, is she going to give you a tip if she wins??! …I said, if she wins, I’ll even give her money!

大土人先生:

Sister Na, you said once: “Actually, I’ve never thought so much about it. It’s just that it’s my dream, so I have to work hard to achieve it. Actually, the simplest way of thinking about it is that I don’t want to have regrets, because many older people say, if they had just tried a little harder back then, would things be different now? I don’t want to have this kind of thought in the future, so like a fool I’ve persisted until now.” I wholeheartedly congratulate you! You have not failed yourself.

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  • mr.wiener

    Well dome Li Na. You did this by yourself, you worked hard and won and your acceptance speech was touching hilarious and humble.
    A wonderful human being of whom the Chinese people can be proud.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      She could not have done this without her coach, her supporting team, her sponsors, and lastly her parents who enrolled her into tennis class when she was a child and bought her all the equipment and gear.

      • ScottLoar

        Conversely, none of what you’ve recounted would mean a thing without the athletic talent, ambition and discipline of one Li Na. Sure there was help along the way, but the basic stuff is hers and without excuses.

        And, a speech that is touching, humble, heartfelt, without antagonism and without pandering to The Party, nationalism, and the Chinese race; in a word, “human”.

      • mr.wiener

        I believe she thanked all these people in her acceptence speech. But the fact that she has done it and is the oldest women to have won the Australian open make her all the more remarkable.
        http://www.chinasmack.com/2014/stories/li-na-wins-australian-open-grand-slam-chinese-reactions.html

      • MidniteOwl

        on the flip side, i don’t see any coaches winning any grand slams. i guess they all sucked.

    • Mateusz82

      I agree with most of it, but I don’t see why the Chinese should be proud of her. She won, not the 1.3 billion other people, nor did every other Chinese person cause her victory.

      • Kai

        Chinese people can be as proud of her as they are ashamed of the old ladies who took free food from the church in San Francisco.

        • Mateusz82

          So, not at all. People are responsible for their own actions, and their own accomplishments.

          Chinese people aren’t collectively to be blamed for the faults of other Chinese, nor are they collectively to be lauded for the accomplishments of other Chinese.

        • linette lee

          I don’t know why I don’t care for her. I don’t find her any better than those America tennis players or the Williams sisters. I do love Sun Yang. He is so amazing and is the best in the world. So talented. And I am not saying that because he is hot. hahahaha…lol.

  • ex-expat

    “It’s not like the country has spent any money on her, so these honors belong not to the country but to herself.”

    Good comment. I coached the number one mens player in China for a long time. The system is really messed up. If Li Na had stuck around, I doubt she would have achieved half as much. I like her attitude of how she plays for herself, and not the government or her country, despite how much the government would love to “claim” her.

    • ponquenet

      Details, anecdotes? I’m sure most of us would love to hear some ‘inside baseball’, as it were. No need to name names!

      • ex-expat

        Haha…I would be happy to share. Unfortunately, the stories are beyond the scope of a single post. Basically, it is super corrupt, and for every Li Na, there are thousands that go nowhere. Trying and failing is part of sports, and life in general, but the problem is that there is basically no attempt to educate those in the system. Thus, they are extremely limited in their options after they realize that they will never “make it.” The provincial and national teams don’t care as long as they get someone that will make them money or give them face. The player that I was coaching got paid over a million USD to represent a certain provincial team in the national games. For a third tier city to come up with that kind of money for a couple tennis matches is, in my opinion, an extreme waste, and I can only imagine as to who was screwed over in the process.

        • guerrinho

          this is the same situation of any other sports in China: Managers looking for personal earnings and/or personal career growths, still I think the real problems are the foreign trainers who come to China just to earn money without caring of the results, like the ex-jugoslavian coaches in football

          • ScottLoar

            But aren’t coaches hired and remain employed based on results? I’m sure the mainland Chinese teams would favour a Chinese coach over a foreign coach every time if results didn’t matter. Also, trainers “train”, coaches “coach”; they’re not the same.

          • ex-expat

            You would think, though I often questioned what I was actually doing at my job. I found that the majority of the suggestions I made were not listened to, and to say I was under-utilized would be an understatement. I think that I was used partially to give face, and partially to get my boss more money from the provincial team. I went to China with the initial plan to help develop Chinese tennis, though it later became apparent that it was not going to be possible. I suppose I did contribute some things, though not nearly as many as I could have.

          • ScottLoar

            Your experience is not the exception; the same happens when a foreign expert in, for example, critical path is hired for a construction project like ship-building. Although the need is there the expertise is commonly slighted because those higher in the organization think it a shame to take the foreign advice they hired. There is also an attitude, not particular to any culture, that a degree, title, position confers a higher intelligence, greater capability or incisive insight into a matter. I’ve heard the comment from a Chinese PhD, “I should have known that! I’ve got a PhD”, whereas nothing in his education would have prepared him. Likewise, I’ve seen many persons promoted in US organizations who suddenly thought their promotion conferred the authority of expertise, not knowing the two are often separate, and in their cases embarrassingly so.

  • Cameron

    I’m absolutely thrilled for her and looking forward to seeing her triumphant visage on my packet of crisps, fruit juice drink and other assorted confectionary items in the very near future!!!

    • Zappa Frank

      they will have to photoshop that picture, she is too dark

    • ponquenet

      “You don’t understand, it is Chinese culture!”

      • Kai

        I really hope you’re not suggesting the use of celebrities for marketing is something unique to Chinese culture…

        • Mateusz82

          I think the photoshopping of dark skin is suggested as unique to Chinese culture (it’s unfortunately not, though it’s more prevalent in China).

  • mr.wiener

    You honestly attribute this to some kind of deal?
    Some people see Jesus’ face on a tortilla, you’d see the Illuminati as the driving force behind Hello Kitty…..hang on ,come to think of it…

    • ScottLoar

      The word is “pareidolia”, seeing familiar things in odd objects.

    • xuedi

      Mr.Wiener: it is kind of obvious that hello kitty is a evil plan of the illuminati to undermine world order…

  • Germandude

    Your post is full of what people lack these days: common sense. I really appreciate your investigation in the topic and unlike usual ridiculous conspiracy theorists, your conclusions are drawn by ground-proven facts such as the “not so coincidental injury of Serena Williams” and the monetary interests behind ” Williams’ clothing manufacturing in China”.

    Unlike the rabble, blinded by smiling faces & the nice words Li Na chose in her speech, it is people like you that have to be thanked for going the extra mile and look behind the scenes to release insider knowledge.

    Combining your factual evidence with the failure-free usage of ” ” in “back injuries” and further strengthening your point by repeating it, you bring your point across with added style to sharpen the facts presented.

    11/10 Your post is full of awesomeness and not just would I read it again, I even bookmarked it to let my children experience real joy one day.

    • ponquenet

      You’ve written one of the finest replies in Chinasmack’s history. Here, have an upvote!

  • Zappa Frank

    before cheering her i would like to know how many people here really like to watch this sport…
    i really cannot stand more than one set.

    • Markoff

      well first set was nice and tense, second was just beating dead Slovak which will get boring quickly

    • ScottLoar

      I’ll volunteer: I don’t watch tennis, don’t play tennis, and think it and golf are less interesting than synchronized swimming or ice skating, both of which drive me to flick the channel selector in nanoseconds (I like to watch and listen to women’s volleyball). Still, I won’t deny that unlike the deliveries in the US Congressional Record such activity needs talent, training, ambition and discipline to excel, and that is what I applaud as well as the manner in which one Li Na expressed herself as I commented. Some cultures cheered the taking of enemy scalps, so cheering Li Na pales in comparison.

      • Zappa Frank

        i don’t know, sincerely this seems to me like the Valentino rossi’s fans that never watched a moto race before and don’t even have a bike but scream in joy for him just because he is italian and think that therefore, somehow, he represent them while stars usually live on another planet and represent only themselves…

        • ScottLoar

          Yes, despite my explanation you stubbornly remain clueless.

          • Zappa Frank

            i’m sorry but i did not find your explanation very convicing. i guess i’ll remain clueless and your effort to bring me the light will be wasted

          • ScottLoar

            So, if you don’t like tennis then Li Na’s win means nothing? Kinda like (to be recited in the voice of a 9 year-old), gee, I wasn’t in the forest and didn’t hear the tree fallin’ so… like, wow, the tree didn’t fall?

          • Zappa Frank

            I think your example does not fit to this situation nor to what i said…or at least i tryed to. What i say is that people that don’t care about tennis all of the sudden come out to cheer up Li Na, just because she is chinese.. in a normal situation they don’t even know what is the ATP, but since a chinese won than they all come out to cheer..that’s why? i think, not sure, because they do feel represented by her because she is chinese (from this my example of valentino) and not because her skills, talent and so on… does anyone know who won 3 years ago? did anyone cheered that girl? was maybe less talented? or just was not chinese.. this is my point (that is not even that important and pretty useless) that people feels those champions to represent them while they do not.

          • Rick in China

            Fully understand your point. Quite frankly, I don’t care about whatever sport some Canadian wins in the least – and find it silly and juvenile when people do as you say – cheer specifically because they are of the same race, and no other reason.

          • KamikaziPilot

            “Quite frankly, I don’t care about whatever sport some Canadian wins in the least”

            I see your logic and agree somewhat but I think you’re in the minority. I’d say a lot (maybe most?) people would cheer, at least slightly, for people of their own race/nationality if they didn’t know much about the sport or individual they’re watching. It’s just human nature. This goes for most people regardless of culture or country I’d assume. However I will say that in certain countries this is more prevalent than others (ex. China). I personally think the more prevalent this characteristic among a group of people the more insecure they really are deep down inside. Nationalism gives them a chance to feel like they’ve accomplished something without ever doing anything.

          • Surfeit

            This is a very interesting post! I wonder if there is much study on this. I think it falls somewhere into human geography and psycho-social nationalism. “Roma o morte!” and what not.

          • Rick in China

            That’s all correct – people do it, I’m not denying that, but I still think it’s silly and juvenile :D

          • Surfeit

            That’s a terribly inapt analogy for the point you want to make.

          • ScottLoar

            I invite you to help me do better. At the time I could only think of the absurdity of the Zen koan “if a tree falls in the woods and none hear it, how do we know the tree fell?”

          • Zappa Frank

            ok than could you explain me how does it fit to our discussion? i sincerelly don’t understand it.
            If Li Na is the tree and the falling is the winning, i do not deny it… but what i say is that as the tree that falls should be interesting for lumberjacks, beavers or whatever, but not for a men living in city, the same Li Na winning a tennis cup may be interesting for tennis’ fans, but i don’t think should interest other people just because she is chinese and than only for this reason they relate themselves with her..

          • ScottLoar

            No, Li Na is not the tree and falling is not winning. The koan is an absurdity that cannot be answered, and was my comment on your failure to understand. But let’s bring you back down to earth.

            You find it hard to understand that persons commonly disinterested or ignorant of a sport can find themselves carried away by a winner, especially if that win is done by someone outside the norm of the time, like a woman (Gertrude Ederle, first woman to swim the English Channel), or Chinese (Liu Xiang’s race in the 2008 Olympiad), or even the first to do… well, anything significant like Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic. So, it’s not just Chinese who appreciate La Na’s win; that’s my point but perhaps not blunt enough to beat through to your narrow point of reasonable understanding. Failing to appreciate excellence and success regardless of the field or activity seems dense, yeah?

          • Zappa Frank

            i don’t think you get my point despite you seem to like so much try to put it down in an arrogant way.. can you also talk in a more fair way? i would apreciate. Else i can assure that i can keep on even without your contribution, really..
            Every year someone win that tournament, so again no, comparing with something done for the first time in the history is not the same… did you apreciate who won 3 – 4 years ago? i doubt, probably you don’t even know who won, and less than never you would write something on a blog about how you apreciated their victories .. you apreciate her because somehow you feel linked to her..even by slight things as “race”, language study, just passing on this blog and so on… And here is my thing, is it right to feel linked to her (or any sport champion that do something we don’t care about)?

          • ScottLoar

            Jesus, is there no end?

            “And here is my thing, is it right to feel linked to her (or any sport champion that do something we don’t care about)?”

            I “got” your thing, believe me I understood many posts past. And I answered your thing again and again, most recently by “You find it wilfully hard to understand that persons commonly disinterested or ignorant of a sport can find themselves carried away by a winner, especially if that win is done by someone outside the norm of the time”, and I further that with examples famous to their time, knowing that most people don’t know or wouldn’t care a few years later, but the empathy at the time was real and infectious.

            Do you understand “empathy”? You seem dead to anything other than the things you care about, the things that concern you. You seem narrowly self-centered.

          • Zappa Frank

            i read what you wrote and i’ve replied already, but seems that we don’t want to understand each other.. luckly seem other guys got my point… ok let’s move on this conversation doesn’t lead us anywhere.

    • KamikaziPilot

      I really can’t stand watching more than one point actually. Not sure in China but in the US at least I know a lot of Chinese (and asians in general) play tennis as a recreational sport. Not sure how many watch it though. Tennis seems to be one of the top recreational sports asians play.

      • Zappa Frank

        well that’s good, in this case i’m wrong. however, to make it clear, my was a general talking, not refering just to chinese and tennis, i did the example of valentino rossi for this reason..

    • Surfeit

      There seems to be some grey area here. I understand your point, and agree, but sometimes I find myself doing it. Not so much Rossi (I don’t care for moto racing), but Mo Farah. I really admire long distance running, though I don’t follow it. If it wasn’t for great victories at the WC or Olympics I’d never have come to ‘support’ the likes of Mo, or Galen Rupp. Now my support for them is different to how you say (nationalist fad) as I genuinely enjoy the sport, but I think the cross over between this and what you are talking about is too great to separate the too. Hope this makes some sense because I’m finding it very difficult to explain!

    • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

      I watch tennis when it is on and depending on who is playing. I am not a big tennis sport but it is more interesting to me than cricket and baseball. I am a football fan and would catch a game if it is on, whether is it some chinese team playing or a local team doing a kickabout. I follow other sports but not to the same extent. I have been to Wimbledon, and I’d say it is better Live than on TV, as I could get in a few different games and see people of different levels play in one day.

      The most boring sport I’ve had to endure were Baseball, Cricket and American Football. I am sure there are other sports that could be more boring than those. Though, I’ve never had to endure them like the 3 I’ve mentioned. And before anyone says Golf, I’ve never been interested in that and never watch a game.

      • Zappa Frank

        i have my father play tennis, he also wanted me and my brother to play, we tryed, but after one year we gave up…did not like it really..and switched to basketball.. however due to my father i’ve seen a lot of tennis match, but still cannot really find them interesting, besides i don’t like that it is the only sport where you cannot talk during the game, that on one side pissed me off since i think it is a stupid heritage of its elite background and it has no use now, on the other side it makes it even more boring.
        and i don’t talk about football that as every italian i was forced to play and many times still forced to see..

        • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

          I don’t know, I think Tennis and sports like Golf, Snooker, etc. need concentration and noise can be off putting.

          Personally, I prefer team sports over individual sports. I can enjoy football, rugby, hockey, and basketball. But some sports people find dull. I know American football is a sport, but to me, I consider it along the lines of WWF (or WWE or whatever it is called now), something that is more about entertainment rather than the sport itself.

      • ScottLoar

        Cricket. I watched cricket matches televised from Australia, India, England, and on occasion intently for hours yet I’ve no idea what’s happening. American football doesn’t confound me – every American kid of a certain age plays football, or at least so in my generation – but does bore me with its myriad rules, special teams, and has become a game of passing and throwing; say, why not lacrosse if that’s what people like? Still, baseball is the game we played as kids, and adults will usually follow the games they played as kids because they have experience of the game and understand it. We should be thankful, then, that we didn’t grow up playing kabaddi, yes?

        • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

          I actually like kabaddi. I find it interesting to watch compared to the stick and ball games of cricket and baseball.

          • ScottLoar

            I’m sure yours will remain a minority opinion among the peoples of the world.

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            I’m sure it will.

  • Markoff

    I am curious according what law will be her income taxed? I just hope she is not dumb enough to support commie government with her taxes and resides at least in Monaco.

    Btw. what’s the deal with her mother?

    Congrats to Li Na, not to China – coutnry that has no participation in her individual success unlike foreign devils like Nike.

  • ScottLoar

    I know Chinese is not a race but most Chinese suppose they are, thus my last sentence with “human” counterposed.

    Jeez, why do I comment here? I’ve got to dumb down everything?

  • Ivan Teo

    Congrats To Li Na, its truely a milestone and her relentless pursue for championship pays off.

  • Stefan Xu

    Why should she change her citizenship?

    • ESL Ninja

      Because she is rich and not affiliated with the party…

      • Stefan Xu

        So all rich Chinese not affiliated with the party should renounce their citizenship?

        • ESL Ninja

          yep

          • Stefan Xu

            Why? Switch to which one?

          • ESL Ninja

            Because she can. Any, they are all better.

          • Surfeit

            Especially the white ones? E’eeeee!

          • Stefan Xu

            So let’s say you married a Chinese girl, would you make sure she changes her citizenship to the country of yours? I’m just curious, casual question.

          • ex-expat

            I 100% would. There is no way I would spend the rest of my life in China, and if my significant other isn’t a citizen of my country, she would not be able to work, etc. Also, there is no chance in hell I would have a child either born, or raised, on the mainland. I would also require her to change strictly on political values as well.

          • ESL Ninja

            I would expect her to want to. I don’t think I would marry someone who is happy to spend the rest of their life as a Chinese citizen.

    • Kai

      I suspect @Bert is saying a lot of Chinese change their citizenship more than he is saying she should. See Jet Li becoming Singaporean: http://www.chinasmack.com/2009/stories/chinese-netizen-reactions-jet-li-singapore-citizenship.html

      @eslninja:disqus is pulling your chain, but that’s because he thinks you’re playing stupid, which isn’t ruled out.

  • KamikaziPilot

    I don’t watch tennis nor do I follow Li Na but I just happened to watch a clip on a website of an interview she was giving after she won. The interviewer asked her what it meant to be the first Asian woman to win the Australian Open. I expected the usually talk about patriotism and country from Li Na but was pleasantly surprised to hear her basically ignore the question and instead talk about her specific match and how she herself felt about winning. She seems to have a refreshing, independent personality which if good to hear.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Sure, answering B when you were asked about A is a good trait.

      • Surfeit

        That wholly depends on the question, and situation.

  • Surfeit

    Shit?

  • Jay K.

    黑猫警长!yep that is Li Na!

    • YourSupremeCommander

      ….

  • Surfeit

    Finally! Now it all makes sense. The pieces are finally fitting together! That’s why Mad Max’s world arrived in the land down under.

  • moeimoei

    What sport does she play? I’m too lazy google it, but not lazy enough to not ask it here….LOL

    • KamikaziPilot

      Ping pong.

      • moeimoei

        NO WAY!!!! LOL, I thought it was Mongolian wrestling…yep makes a lot sense to have that in Australia… :P

  • mr.wiener

    I’m sure you’d fit right in sport.

  • Markoff

    now or no ?

  • ScottLoar

    你將英文的 race 與中文的民族搞混, race 等於是種族, 與某國家的國民,某文化的民 眾毫無關. 民族(譯成 nationality)是某國家的國民,可多元或者單元,但中國人( Chinese) 並非生物群眾.

    如此用耐心給你解釋已經對你夠客氣.

    • hehehehh

      chin chan chon, motherfucker.

    • linette lee

      你寫中文比我好得多. 我的中文和英文寫作只是幼稚班. 我可以寫讀中英西班牙文, 但是我很差. 我沒有語言天分.

      • ScottLoar

        过奖,过奖,没什么了不起。

  • Zappa Frank

    i don’t like patriotism, maybe that’s the reason why i find annoying all the stuff related to champions of some sport you can’t care less that become national heroes, just because they share your nationality.
    About tennis i have some doubts it’s the 3 rd most popular in china, even more to say it’s the 3rd most played.. any stats where i can look..
    anyway, yes, my point is quite arguable and it is only my impression, don’t take it too seriously.

  • Rick in China

    Indeed it is blind patriotism – whether it’s being done in the US or in China – and wherever it’s practiced doesn’t matter, it’s stupid and those who behave in such a way are nonsensical people who likely have little in their own lives to be proud of, so try to glam on to anyone successful that they can relate with on any note – race/nationality being a ridiculous example of a trait. I do not think Tennis is remotely close to the 3rd most popular sport in China, but we’d have to define popular – most played? most watched? most influential? Is it really any of the above in relation to football, basketball, ping pong, badminton?

  • http://www.teasenz.com/ Lisa Lin

    Na Li, is my favorite Chinese athele, not only when it comes to skill, but I just love her personality, which a lot of athletes in China miss. Personality really matters when it comes to inspiring the young generation.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/VictimOfBoredom Matt

    You think that you completely know about China or Chinese?All you know is just what the news of your
    country tells you.

    Chinese is not a race––PERIOD.

  • Hang Em Man

    She looks like a raging lesbo.

  • linette lee

    The Williams sisters are unbeatable. They are so talented and very big and strong.

  • http://www.sportphysiotherapist.com/ Shane Hayes – Physio

    Love the comments people left, aka ‘china sports administration’ – i worked with them, so funny and agreed. Good on her to take the courage to leave the China sport system behind.

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