View Full Version : Li Na's mother didn't watch her win French Open

06-17-2011, 12:36 AM
Roland Garros champion Li Na says her mother didn't watch her become the first Chinese player to win a major. "I've asked her many times. She always answers, "'No, I have my life, and I don't want to change,' and also she really doesn't enjoy the sport," Li told Time. "So even after the French Open, I didn't call her. I sent a text message saying, 'I'm good. Now in Paris, on my way back to Munich.' And she said, 'I heard you won a tournament.'"


Thoughts? Personally, I feel sad.

06-17-2011, 12:39 AM

That line where she said that "I heard you won a tournament" must have stung. Really sad. :(

06-17-2011, 12:42 AM
That's weird, 'cause probably 1/10 of her giant country watched the final. You'd think her mother would care to watch.

06-17-2011, 12:51 AM
I have a very good Chinese colleague/friend who has informed me that the relationships between the older and younger generation of Chinese is somewhat different to that of those in western societies. I'm sure it isn't the case for all, and I'm not wanting to paint all with the same brush or appear xenophobic in anyway, but it doesn't surprise me completely. It may have to do with what her mother/father wished for her to do pursue as a career in life in the first place.

It's a complex situation from what I'm told regarding the expectations of their children and subsequent responsibilities.

06-17-2011, 12:58 AM

The lady speaking at 1:11 is Li's mum (who, btw, is an accountant); from 0:58, the report says that her mum was so nervous watching that she left her seat three times that evening the final was taking place until the wild cheering of the other family members and relatives brought her back.

06-17-2011, 01:03 AM
She's a Tiger Mother.
Nothing will satisfy her unless her daughter wins Wimbledon or becomes a doctor.
Anything less will not receive "good job" praise.

06-17-2011, 01:37 AM
No, the truth is her monther cares about Li Na's well being much more than the tennis match itself. She knows Li is making history and as any mother she knows how much pressure his daughter was going through during the match. She just couldn't continue to watch it.

The local reports said she couldn't breath while watching the match and then decided to leave the room and never come back.

06-17-2011, 01:38 AM
Lot of people in China didnt watch her win the French Open either.

Ofcourse Mother not watching a big event like this is significant but not unheard of.

06-17-2011, 01:56 AM
I know someone whose dad tells people "My son plays badminton". :D :D In Asia not everyone is crazy about tennis.

06-17-2011, 06:57 AM
I really wouldn't put too much into it. From I everything I've read about Li's upringing and family, her mother clearly loves her very much. Li's mom isn't the first parent to not like watching they're children play because it literally makes them crazy nervous. It may seem odd to some, but I've seen this from parents at every level of sports.

Thinking back to high school (yeah I know, ridiculous to compare a pro tennis player and my high school tennis "career"), my own mother and father would only attend certain matches. They had jobs, they had other things to do. If I was at match, that means they had free time to do something else and they often took advantage, though sometimes they'd choose to watch. And, from my perspective, tennis was my thing, it was something I chose to do, and going on road trips was time for me to have fun outside of the eye of my parents, and time to be, in a small way, independent. Today I see helicopter parents who not only attend every match, but also every practice, which I think is insane. But, to each his own.

While it may be bit bizarre that Li's mom wouldn't at least watch the French Open final, I also find it a bit odd that some tennis parents (who aren't coaches) attend nearly EVERY match of their child. I know, I know, it's a spectator sport, so why not? But, it's also their child's job, and you'd think they'd have something better to do a lot of the time and would only attend certain matches.

06-17-2011, 08:42 AM
Mummy's young enough to be Li Na's sister

06-17-2011, 08:46 AM
That's a bit sad, I hope Li Na doesn't let it affect her. She's a great player with a terrific attitude, and I was happy for her when she won a slam.

06-17-2011, 09:25 AM
Some parents are just too nervous to watch their children play. Sharipova's mother doesn't watch her matches. You don't need to watch every match or eveery point to show support.

06-17-2011, 09:27 AM
She should have been there in the stands wearing a tshirt with Li Na's face imprinted on it.

06-17-2011, 09:31 AM
And I thought my parents are bad.

06-19-2011, 10:56 PM
No, the truth is her monther cares about Li Na's well being much more than the tennis match itself. She knows Li is making history and as any mother she knows how much pressure his daughter was going through during the match. She just couldn't continue to watch it.

The local reports said she couldn't breath while watching the match and then decided to leave the room and never come back.

Very true. Li's mum was saying in that interview in the youtube link she once wanted to give up and take her daughter out of the sport, her "heart hurt a lot" means she she hated seeing Li having to train so hard. It was dad who wanted Li to keep it up. And in another interview a few years ago, when Li got injured, mum wanted her to retire, settle and have babies because tour life, competition and training was so tough. Li's mum is the opposite of a pushy parent. On one hand, Li didn't get the same opportunities as a talented player in the West like a Woz or somebody, on the other, the system did give her a start with the coaches and travelling and expenses, very considerable for an average salary in China, but Li was stuck in that heavy handed system for far too long until the experiment with the "fly alone" program.

And Li is very fortunate her parents were nothing like some of the loony types like Dokic's dad, for example, and her husband is supportive to a million percent even enduring the brunt of it when she takes out her frustration on him sitting in the stands in Wuhanese!

When her mum said "I heard you won a tournament..." don't take it as uncaring, quite the contrary : it really meant : "I love you and I'm so proud of what you have accomplished." She just said it in an indirect way, that's all.

Shangri La
06-19-2011, 11:21 PM
And I thought my parents are bad.

Caring her daughter's well-being over tennis is anything but 'bad'.

06-19-2011, 11:39 PM
I don't know anyhting about her mother, but it could be that her mother just has no interest in sport. Some people have zero interest in sport which is sad.

I just read the link, and Li says of her mother that "also she really doesn't enjoy the sport,"

Thats it, the sport has no appeal to her mother, so she rather not watch than be bored watching it.

06-20-2011, 04:37 AM
Actually Li Na didn't seem too excited when she won the FO. Boring reaction really. After falling down on court, the rest was ho hum.

06-20-2011, 04:43 AM
Nothing unheard of.

Believe it or not people exist who aren't too enthusiastic about an activity their sons or daughters have been busy doing for years and years.

Dirk Nowitzki's parents refused to leave their business and attend game 6 despite invitations and cost-free plane tickets. So if Westerners do it I can imagine someone in the middle of China couldn't be bothered to get a headache and watch the game live (even if it involves their offspring)

06-20-2011, 07:03 AM
There's more for a parent to care about a child than just the success of their careers. Things like the child's health, happiness, family life. This can be a good thing as oppose all those crazy tennis parents who cares about the child's career and not much else.

Golden Retriever
06-20-2011, 07:22 AM
Typical Western biased journalism about China. Her mother didn't watch the entire match because she was too nervous. But that wouldn't be controversial, so the journalists put some spin on it. Must be a good tennis player.

06-20-2011, 07:23 AM
Li Na marches to the beat of her own drum. She probably did a lot of things that went against her parents' wishes (and China's).

But it does sound sad when such a great achievement is met with a "meh".