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Djokovic, Li Na put on a show in Battle of the Sexes at China Open

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Li Na and Novak Djokovic help cut the cake to celebrate the China Open's 10th anniversary. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)

Li Na and Novak Djokovic help celebrate the China Open’s 10th anniversary. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)

Li Na and Novak Djokovic took the court at Beijing’s Olympic Park last week to play a “Battle of the Sexes” charity match to help celebrate the China Open’s 10th anniversary. In addition to playing a light-hearted mini-set, which Li won 3-2, the pair also took the court with some local youngsters for a night of fun and laughter.

“Tonight’s match with Li Na was all about the kids to put a smile on their faces, get them excited about tennis and hopefully inspire them to become champions one day,” Djokovic, the three-time defending champion, said. “I am myself very excited to be back in Beijing where I have a lot of fans supporting me all the time and hopefully I am able to defend my title.”

The whole vibe of the exhibition was a little bit awkward given the language barrier for Djokovic, but as he knows, physical comedy is universal. The Djoker was in full exo mode, climbing the umpire’s chair, subbing in for a ball kid, and doing whatever it took to get a laugh out of the 12,000 fans in attendance:

More photos and highlights from the night after the jump.

Djokovic adds to his growing list of languages and shows off his Mandarin:

Here’s the mini-set played between the two. Li was given a 30-0 advantage in all her service games and a 0-30 advantage on Djokovic’s.

(Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)

(Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic plays umpire in his charity match against Li Na.

 (Bei piao/AP)

Djokovic moves to the other side of the lens.

(Bei piao/AP)

Djokovic takes a rest in his charity match against Li Na.

(Zheng Ze/AP)

  • Published On Oct 02, 2013
  • 2 comments
    CM
    CM

    Looks fun - and Djokovic's Mandarin skills have improved.

    Ace2020
    Ace2020

    Nice of Novak to do this. Most of the men wouldn't even play a match like this for charity, and certainly wouldn't just clown around and let Li Na win it. This is why I respect Djoker :)