Knocking Down Milestones

August 21, 2019 – Ann Li in action against Nina Stojanovic during qualifying at the 2019 US Open. (Photo by Pete Staples/USTA)

Over and over again, Ann Li is outdoing herself.

The 20-year-old from Philadelphia had an incredible start to 2020. She qualified for her first WTA main draw event, had her best showing in a major tournament and is currently sitting at a career-high ranking.

It all happened before the first week of February.

Li’s WTA main draw debut came in Auckland, where she lost in the third round to fellow American Christina McHale. From there, she set her sights on the first major of the year: the Australian Open.

In the final match of qualifying, Li staved off two match points before ultimately taking the match in three sets. Her first match of the main draw was against wildcard Lizetta Cabrera, who was playing in front of her home crowd. Li took the match in straight sets, winning both in a tiebreaker to get her first major match win.

Despite being early in her career, Li looked like she belonged out on tour, seemingly always remaining calm and collected throughout her matches.

“It’s a little bit of my personality,” Li said after her final match of qualifying. “I’m usually pretty chilled. I just tried to stay calm and really to play my game, execute well and move her.”

She eventually lost a hard-fought match to another fellow American and the eventual champion, Sofia Kenin, in the second round.

Now, as pro tennis returns, Li is more ready than ever to pick up where she left off in her 2020 success.

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