Updated: Wednesday, 25 June 2014 23:57 | By Agence France-Presse

Early bird Li happy to stay out of Wimbledon spotlight

Chinese second seed Li Na admits she would happily stay out of the Wimbledon spotlight if it means she can keep her early appointments at the All England Club.


Early bird Li happy to stay out of Wimbledon spotlight

China's Li Na celebrates winning a point against Austria's Yvonne Meusburger during their second round match on day three of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in southwest London, on June 25, 2014 - by Carl Court

Li swept into the Wimbledon third round with an imperious 6-2, 6-2 victory over Austria's Yvonne Meusburger in the first match out on Court Two on Wednesday.

As the world number two and reigning Australian Open champion, Li was asked if she felt snubbed by the decision not to schedule her match on one of Wimbledon's two main showcourts.

But the 32-year-old revealed she prefers it if her match is the first of the day, regardless of the court, as it means she doesn't have to spend all day hanging around nervously to discover when she will get the chance to play.

"I love to be the first match," Li said. "Yesterday they showed the Centre Court and Court 1 schedule on the TV. I saw I wasn't on it and I said 'Go call the schedule. Maybe I play first at 11:30'.

"I like to be the first match because you don't have to wait. If they put you in the fourth or last match, you have to wait around and the whole day you can't do anything.

"It doesn't matter what court I'm on, I just like to be first."

Given the opportunity to indulge her early bird preference, Li was far too strong for Meusburger, hitting 33 winners to just four from the world number 38, and will play Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic for a place in the last 16.

Li has never been past the Wimbledon quarter-finals in seven attempts.

But this 69-minute victory followed hot on the heels of her comfortable straight sets win over Polish qualifier Paula Kania on Monday.

On this form Li has every chance of making a stronger run at the title this year, but she refused to look further ahead that her clash with Zahlavova Strycova.

"It's easy to say, tough to do," Li said when asked if she could win Wimbledon.

"It's pretty easy to start thinking about the second week. But for me I have to win another match to get to the second week and then think about it.

"I can't change the draw. If you want to be the champion, you have to meet everyone. I was really happy with the way I hit the ball today. In the first round I hadn't played for one month, so I didn't have a good feeling on the court.

"But in the second match you know better which way you hit the ball, what happens, how's it going."

While Li was always in control against Meusburger, she also made 21 unforced errors, yet insisted she would maintain her aggressive style against Zahlavova Strycova.

"She's a pretty smart player. I think it's good for her to play on the grass. For me, I will just play my game, play aggressive and come to the net as much as I can," Li said.

"If you play more defensive you make fewer mistakes, but also you hit fewer winners."

As usual Li dealt well with all the questions thrown her way at the post-match press conference -- as befits someone with a journalism degree.

But asked if she would ever consider swapping her racquet for a laptop, Li said: "My dream after I retire is to be a housewife."

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