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Li Na says Osaka needs 'desire' to go further

AFP  |  Hong Kong 

Chinese great said champion can go on and win multiple titles -- if she can find the inner desire to match her physical abilities.

Osaka has admitted feeling burdened by expectations after last month's stunning victory in New York, saying she puts pressure on herself to "do more, do better".

The 20-year-old world number six was also in tears after her "bittersweet" win, which was marred by Serena Williams' explosive row by the umpire.

"I believe with her abilities and strength, she can win many (titles) -- that is if she really has the desire to be a champion," Li told AFP ahead of

Osaka, Asia's second singles champion after Li, has pulled out of the Hong Kong tournament with a back

Williams, 37, brought a halt to her season after the final, where her latest attempt at a record-equalling 24th major title ended in acrimony.

But Li, the former and winner who retired in 2014, cautioned that it was unwise to judge Williams, who is back on the circuit after becoming a mother last September.

"Looking at the players from the sidelines, we might not really understand some of their psychological goings-on on the court," said Li.

"I've always thought she is a very There are very few players who can give birth and then immediately come back out," she added.

"For me, it's really hard to find a balance between family and the court, but she very quickly got into final." Li is often credited with igniting interest in and especially in China, but she said the sport still had a long way to go.

"Tennis in is still in its adolescence. We have just passed the infancy stage, so we can still go a lot further," said Li.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 08 2018. 14:25 IST