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Li draws Date Krumm at WTA Tournament of Champions

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Originally published on: 03/11/10 10:19

World No.11 Li Na will face 40-year-old tournament wildcard Kimiko Date Krumm in the first round of the season-ending WTA Tour of Champions.

Li, who missed out on a place at last week’s WTA Championships by one ranking, is the top seed at the Bali event, which brings together the tournament winners who did not play in Doha to round off the 2010 WTA season.

But Date Krumm, a semi-finalist at last year’s event, represent as new challenge for Li.

“I’ve practised with Kimiko a lot but never played her,” said Li. “These top events all have tough draws, this is another challenge for me.

“We’ll see what happens on the court. Bali is beautiful, but still there is a fight on the court.”

Date Krumm missed out on qualification by right after a heartbreaking defeat in the final of the Japan Open in Tokyo at the hands of Tamarine Tanasugarn.

And the Japanese 40-year-old said the opening showdown with her Chinese was just bad luck.

“There are only two players from Asia here and we didn’t want to play each other [in the first round]” she said. “But that’s the way it goes.

“I’m looking forward to it. She’s a tough player, hits the ball hard and is fast around the court. I”ll just go out there and try my best.”

Elsewhere in the draw, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will face the now-coachless Ana Ivanovic, while defending Tournament of Champions champ Aravane Rezai meets Alisa Kleybanova and Yanina Wickmayer faces wildcard Daniela Hantuchova.

First round matches will be played on Thursday and Friday, with the semis Saturday and the final and third-place matches Sunday, with the winner picking up $210,000 and 375 ranking points.

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