Countrywoman gives Li a break

Peng Shuai of China hits a return to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their match at a WTA tennis...

Peng Shuai of China hits a return to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their match at a WTA tennis event in Carlsbad, California August 5, 2011. (REUTERS/Denis Poroy)

DAVE POLLARD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:33 PM ET

TORONTO - The conspiracy theorists got something to murmur about Wednesday.

China's Na Li, the sixth seed at the Rogers Cup, was scheduled to play countrywoman Shuai Peng in her second-round match but it was scrubbed before either player ventured on to the centre court at Rexall Centre.

Peng, ranked 17th in the world and a two-set winner over Spain's Lourdes Dominguez Lino in the first round, pulled out with a, hmmm, ahhhh, hip injury. Yeah, that's it, a left hip injury.

Peng announced her newly discovered boo-boo while Li was getting taped up for what should have been her first match in the tournament. The walkover gave Li a free pass to the third round.

"She just won a match yesterday so I never thought she would pull out today," Li said, adding that she thought Peng was joking about the injury. "I think it is always tough (when) you play someone from the same country. We stay with the national team, training together, living together, so it is always tough."

Li added: "I am feeling so sad for Peng. I'd like to say sorry again for her."

Makes you wonder if Peng hurt herself reaching for the phone when the Chinese Politburo called to check in.


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