LI Na to donate Madrid prize fund
Originally published on: 11/05/10 10:36
The women’s champion of this week’s Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open will pocket a whopping $620,000 Euros, but though rarely swayed by cash offerings, Chinese No.1 Li Na is already eyeing up the monetary prize at the WTA Premier event.
For the 28-year-old has promised to donate all the cash she wins at the WTA Mutua Madrilena Madrid Masters to the earthquake-struck Yushu County in the northwest region of her native China.
Li was training in Munich on April 14 at the time of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake – which killed at least 2,200 people and left more than 100,000 homeless – and was determined to lend her support in the wake of the natural disaster.
“I was in Germany when the disaster happened in Yushu, I could do nothing at that time, so I decided to donate the money I earn in Madrid,” said Li after dispatching Beatriz Garcia Vidagany 6-0 6-2 to ensure a guaranteed prize fund of at least €15,150.
Li, who became the first Chinese player to crack the top 10 this year, is keen for her winnings to make a difference to those affected in the Yushu region.
“I hope it can help some of the people reconstruct their homes,” added the Aussie Open semi-finalist. “It would be great if I win the tournament, then I can donate a lot. Anyway, I will try my best.”
Li’s compatriot Zheng Jie has also donated $4,400, while doubles star Yan Zi donated $11,800.
In 2008, Sichuan native Zheng also donated $176,000 to the work relief effort after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck her home region, the majority of which she earned by reaching her first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon.