Despite the three days that have passed since China's female tennis star Li Na claimed her second Grand Slam title against Dominika Cibulkova, (7-6 (7/3), 6-0) in Saturday's Australian Open final, fans, the media and sponsors across the world are still paying close attention to her.
|China's female tennis player Li Na storms to her second major singles title, battling past brave underdog Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 to win the on Rod Laver Arena on January 25, 2014, Beijing Time. [e23]
"She is also the first Asian player to clinch the Australian Open," said the Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency on its Weibo microblog.
The People's Daily, Chinese official newspaper, also praised Li on their Weibo post, proclaiming: "Congratulations Sister Na!"
Li's win fevered her fan's enthusiasm for her future games. According to a Hong Kong media report, Li was invited to take on former US Open champion Sam Stosur of Australia at a match during the second annual BNP Paribas Showdown, which will be held as part of World Tennis Day at the new Tseung Kwan O Velodrome in March.
Eighty percent of the 3,000 tickets have been sold out, with the two best seats, which are priced at priced HKD 3,000 (US$386) and HKD 2,500 (US$321), are also completely sold out due to fans scrambling to book a place to witness Li's charm.
Li's fans even created a new word, 'Naustralia' which was the combination of her given name 'Na' and the world 'Australia', to celebrate the 31-year-old's third Australian Open final on Twitter, and regarded Li a part of Australian tennis.
Creating a new buzzword is a way for fans to express their passion for their favorite idols.
Li has signed at least US$42 million worth of sponsorship deals, including deals with Mercedes-Benz, Rolex and Haagen Dazs, who believe that she may be the key to the lucrative Chinese market since she became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam final in Melbourne in 2011, and then went on to win the French Open.
Experts said that Li's win would attract more international sponsors.
"Li Na will have a sponsorship deal with two new brands this year, but the total number of sponsors will still be 13," a source closed to Li disclosed.
Now a European luxury-related company, a real estate company, and an airline have contacted Li's team to extend their wishes to cooperate with the star.
(Source: chinanews.com/Translated and edited by womenofchina.cn)