Olympic champion Li hangs up her bat
BEIJING • China's table tennis Grand Slam champion Li Xiaoxia announced her retirement through social media yesterday.
"I have to say goodbye to you even though I feel it a pity to do so. Goodbye, my beloved table tennis. Goodbye, my prestigious Chinese team," she wrote on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, adding she will continue to support the sport. "Time flies! I started playing table tennis at seven and it has been 22 years on the court."
She helped China win the women's team gold at the Rio Olympic Games where she also finished the singles runner-up.
Cornet outlasts Vesnina in cauldron
BRISBANE• French tennis player Alize Cornet battled back from losing the first set to overcome seventh-seeded Russian Elena Vesnina in Brisbane International opening round yesterday.
Playing in ferocious heat on an outside court where the on-court temperature climbed above 40 deg C, the tenacious Cornet wore down Vesnina 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in 2hr 37min.
She will play Christina McHale next, after the American beat Italian Sara Errani 6-3, 6-3.
US thrash Czechs, Spain beat Australia
PERTH • The United States opened their Hopman Cup tennis campaign in style, with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic in Perth yesterday.
Coco Vanderweghe and Jack Sock won their respective singles matches before teaming up to clinch the mixed doubles under the novel Fast Four format.
In the night tie, Spain edged out Australia 2-1. Nick Kyrgios gave the hosts a good start by beating Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4 but Spain levelled when Lara Arruabarrena thumped Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-1. The Spanish pair won easily 4-0, 4-2 in the mixed doubles.