Li Na overcomes shaky first set to beat Cibulkova, win Aussie Open

Saturday January 25th, 2014
After winning the Australian Open, Li Na will rise to No. 3 in WTA rankings, passing Maria Sharapova.
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

This win comes with all sorts of consequences. Winning the first major of 2014, Li is well-positioned for the rest of the year. Two majors is generally enough for enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, so Li likely achieved that Saturday. But the macro effects are truly significant. Asia -- and China especially -- is clearly tennis' emerging market. Tournaments are moving there en masse. The WTA will hold its year-end championships in Singapore. This trend is driven largely by Li -- her success, her influence, her appeal. And it got another charge Saturday.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.