Can an Outspoken Chinese Tennis Player Beat an Outspoken American Tennis Player at the US Open?

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

Marco Werman: Now here's something that's gonna be big tomorrow on Twitter and Weibo: the world's 5th seeded tennis player, China's Li Na, will be playing American powerhouse, Serena Williams. It's the women's semi-finals of the US Open, and both players will have a legion of fans. Phoebe Lee is with the Chinese American Tennis Society of New York. She's in Flushing, a stone's throw from Arthur Ashe Stadium, where Li Na and Serena Williams will face off tomorrow. So, Phoebe, do you have a ticket to the match?

Phoebe Lee: No, I don't, but I will be watching the match on TV in the evening and the US Open website during the day.

Werman: Right, and who will you be cheering for?

Lee: I will be cheering for Li Na tomorrow. It's a dream come true for Li Na and all Chinese. I like Serena Williams also, but I'm cheering for Li Na tomorrow.

Werman: What does she represent to you and for the Chinese?

Lee: Li Na became the first Asian to win a grand slam title in the French Open. She made a historic run to the Australian Open final match. So win or lose, there's always something to celebrate.

Werman: And yet tennis is not really popular in China, is it?

Lee: It's a domino effect in terms of continuing the sport of tennis in China at a much faster speed. Li's former coach, who still works in a sports school in Li's hometown of Wuhan Province, the WTA will have a tennis tournament in Wuhan Province in China because of her.

Werman: Wow, so it's growing in China, little by little.

Lee: It's growing, yes.

Werman: How many people are in the association in New York?

Lee: About 100. A lot of girls are coming to join us because of Li Na, because Li Na is a role model for all the young generation who hesitate to pick up the racquet. So a lot of young generation can learn from her example, take inspiration and follow in her footsteps.

Werman: Well, you're in Flushing, as I said, massive Chinatown is there and is growing, what is the mood right now with Li Na, three matches away from a championship kind of just around the corner from Chinatown?

Lee: We are all thrilled by her performance so far.

Werman: And your prediction for the match against Serena Williams, between Li Na and Serena Williams, care to go out on a limb and make a guess?

Lee: My prediction is Li Na will win because she practices her serve a lot and not wish she had 11 aces in the match, so I think that's the strategy she will be using–to give a strong serve.

Werman: And Phoebe, how is your game?

Lee: Well, I'm a 3.5 player, so

Werman: What does that mean?

Lee: 3.5 is like a little better than intermediate.

Werman: I see, okay, so you're doing pretty well.

Lee: But I organize a lot of tennis tournaments for the Chinese and American Society in our community. I'm also the website designer.

Werman: You're doing it all. Well, Phoebe Lee, great to speak with you.

Lee: Thanks.