GUANGZHOU, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Top seed China's women tennis team easily booked its berth in the semifinals of the Asian Games, but men's team was sent home by second seed Japan here on Sunday.
On the women's side, China, Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Japan moved into Monday's semis.
Li Na, Grand Slam semifinalist in Australia and currently world number 11, showed nerves of steel in her straight sets win over Kyrgyz player Ksenis Palkina, 6-0, 6-4.
"It's just fine," Li said of her debut in front of home fans. "Four years ago, we were defeated by Uzbekistan at the Doha Asian Games. This time we won't repeat the failure," she added.
China's women team, top favourite of the 2006 Doha Games, tasted sorrow four years ago with an unexpected defeat to Uzbekistan in the semifinals, leaving gold to defending champion Chinese Taipei.
Li's performance on Sunday also won appreciation from her component. "Li played really good. She is strong, clever and has good experience," said Palkina after the match.
"It is the first time I was playing against such a strong player. She performed better than me," the Kyrgyz added.
Li's triumph was joined by her teammate Peng Shuai, who defeated Kyrgyzstan's Bermet Duvanaeva 6-1, 6-2 in another singles in less than one hour, and pair Yan Zi and Peng Shuai, who beat Berment Duvanaeva and Ksenia Palkina 6-4, 6-2 in the women's doubles.
"I felt a little bit nervous in front of my own crowd," said Peng Shuai after the competition. "It is a good start for the Chinese team," she added.
On the men's side, host China, consisting of Gong Maoxin and Li Zhe, top eight of China Open doubles, as well as Wu Di and Zhang Zhe, was thumped by Japan in the doubles and one of the two singles.
The tough competitions, which lasted over three hours, drew an ecstatic capacity of crowds from China and Japan.
The two teams entered the decisive men's doubles after levelling 1-1 following the two singles.
The Chinese pair never fell far behind Japan's Matsui Toshihide and Suzuki Takao, and split 6-7, 7-6 in the first two sets. In the final set, however, the Chinese failed to overturn after losing all of the five serves, crushed by rivals at 2-6.
Top seed Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Uzbekistan also breezed into Monday's men's team semi.
Lu Yen Hsun, top favourite of Chinese Taipei and highest-ranked man in Asia, beat his Philippine rival Mamiit Cecil 6-2, 7-6 in 106 minutes.
"I am glad that we can at least get a medal," said the 26-year-old, ranked 82nd in the world. "I suffered from a waist injury and I have not fully recovered yet."
"What I did was to try my best, and I will continue to do that tomorrow," he added.
Monday will see the semifinals of men's team and women's team.
The tennis events of Guangzhou Asian Games are scheduled from Nov. 13-23, with athletes competing for seven gold medals of men's and women's singles, doubles, teams and mix doubles.