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French Open 2011: Li Na Defeats Francesca Schiavone, Wins Championship

Li Na defeated Francesca Schiavone on Saturday in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6, to win the 2011 French Open. While there's not much publicity surrounding Li Na (yet), it was an historic win for Na as she became the first ever Chinese player to reach the finals at the French Open - and, obviously, the first ever Chinese player to win the French Open.

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Na had already begun to make a name for herself earlier this year, becoming the first ever Chinese player to play in a Grand Slam final at the Australian Open where she lost to Kim Clijsters. 

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SB Nation's Holly Anderson says that the second and decisive set could have been won on one shot:

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the second may as well have been decided by one shot: Schiavone, down a set, had her first chance to break serve, and Li whipped a 100 mph ace past her. From there, the psychic momentum belonged to the whirling dervish in the jaunty visor, though the score didn't always reflect it. 

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With the women's final now in the books, we can all wait for the main event on Sunday: Rafael Nadal taking on his old nemesis Roger Federer. 

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.