Tennis

Published: Tuesday June 24, 2014 MYT 12:22:01 AM
Updated: Tuesday June 24, 2014 MYT 12:22:56 AM

Li survives wobbly first set to down Polish debutante

Li Na of China reacts after defeating Paula Kania of Poland in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 23, 2014.          REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Li Na of China reacts after defeating Paula Kania of Poland in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - No one would have guessed Li Na was facing a grand slam novice as the Chinese second seed survived a rollercoaster opening set before reaching the Wimbledon second round with a 7-5 6-2 win over Polish qualifier Paula Kania on Monday.

For a woman who had never contested a singles match on the main tour before Monday, 183-ranked Kania could not have chosen a better arena to make her debut - the most famous Centre Court in tennis.

Instead of being overawed by her surroundings, 21-year-old Kania resembled a seasoned campaigner, romping to a 4-2 lead before extending it to 5-3 in the opening set.

But that was when Li's experience as a double grand slam champion kicked in. The 32-year-old won 10 of the next 12 games to seal a second round date with Austrian Yvonne Meusburger.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Clare Lovell)

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