China has almost as many regular tennis players as Australia has people.

Yet they're beginning to follow a pattern.

It may be the immense pressure of representing a nation of over a billion people.

Or perhaps the isolationist feeling of being one of a constant flow of tennis players, an avalanche of talent, where no matter how good or successful you become, there's always another there to take your place.

If you're one of tens of millions of tennis players, how special can you really be?

It was the journey of arguably the most special of China's tennis fraternity so far, Li Na, who was almost 30 by the time she won her first of two Grand Slam titles.

The comparisons between the two come thick and fast.

โ€œI will try (to be like Li Na),โ€ Qiang said.

โ€œLi Na for me is gold. Sheโ€™s a really good player. I want to be like her. For now I think the young players in China are doing really well. I think we have a good future for tennis in China.โ€

It may now become the story of Wang Qiang, Barty's Round of 16 opponent, who at age 27 is hitting her peak. Until now, she's never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam, and yet she has been as high as 14th in the world (now 18th).

โ€œNot only Wang Qiang but also (Sam Stosur's current doubles partner) Zhang Shuai played really well this year,โ€ Li Na responded.

โ€œOf course, if they want to make more progress, they need a stronger body."

That may be the struggle, as China anxiously awaits over Qiang's shoulder as the prodigious yet often fleeting baseliner takes on her toughest test to date.

Barty can overpower her from the baseline, she can out perform her at the net, she can even, potentially if she finally gets her serve hitting stride, out ace her.

But Qiang is not to be underestimated. Her performances at WTA level have always spoke volumes of her underperformances in Grand Slams. Her record on clay is nothing short of dismal, as anything approaching slow ball speeds destroys her fragile rhythm.

But she has an exceptional tennis intelligence, a sense of poise and balance that is near unstoppable when it's firing on both cylinders.

Barty better be careful. Qiang isn't a household name to more than a billion or so people yet. But she knows darn well that if she takes out this next match she will be.