Her achievements have sparked a surge in the number

JERUSALEM Da'Ron Payne Jersey , July 21 (Xinhua) -- Israel barred access of Muslim men under 50 to Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Friday and deployed some 3,000 policemen near the site amidst expected protest over security measures.

The move came after Israel's security cabinet decided not to remove the metal detectors installed at the entrances to the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following a shooting attack nearby last Friday that killed two policemen.

A police spokesperson said in a statement that site is opened for women of all ages and for men over the age of 50.

The spokesperson added that following security assessments, "heightened security will take place in and around the Old City (of East Jerusalem)."

"Police and border police units mobilized in all areas and neighborhoods and will respond to any incidents or disturbances throughout the day. Police are coordinating to enable Friday prayers to take place and at the same time secure measures are taking place," the statement read.

The measure was expected to trigger more anger at the volatile site.

The military and the police boosted their presence with five army brigades that were put on call and 3,000 of police officers were deployed outside the compound area.

The contested electronic gates were installed after three Arab citizens of Israel carried out a shooting attack last Friday, killing two Israeli policemen. The assailants were shot dead by the police.

Worshippers have been refusing to enter due to the new metal detectors, with Palestinians charging the step is an Israeli attempt to claim further control over the site. The measures sparked daily clashes between worshippers and police, with dozens of Palestinian injuries.

On Thursday, Muslim leaders called for a mass prayers in the site on Friday, in protest of the new measures.

The Palestinians, as well as some Arab countries, urged Israel to remove the gates, saying it was a violation of the long-held status quo under which the Muslim Waqf is in charge of running the site.

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Li Na (center) poses with (from right) WTA head Stacey Allaster, Czech Petra Kvitova and Hou Yulan, a senior official with the China Open organizing committee, during Li's retirement ceremony on September 30 in Beijing. Photo: CFP

In an interview with the Global Times during the China Open, which concluded last week, Stacey Allaster, chairman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), said she wasn't totally surprised when Chinese tennis great Li Na announced her retirement from the sport.

Chinese fans had high hopes for Li at the inaugural Wuhan Open and the following China Open in Beijing, but were stunned by her sudden announcement to retire on -September 19, just two days before the beginning of the tournament in her hometown of Wuhan.

The Chinese star had not played since Wimbledon in June due to a left knee injury which required surgery. Allaster said Li's team had kept her informed about the injury and she knew that Li had been suffering from it for a long time.

"When you have an athlete at 32, you know it could happen. So I wasn't totally surprised when she made her decision," Allaster said.

She also told the -Global Times that -champion players like Li are prone to call it quits when they know they can't perform at their top level.

"They're not interested in being a journeywoman" at that time because "they want to play at the highest level." When they physically know they cannot do that, "that's when they know it's time to step out."

Strong foundation

Li is the first and only Asian tennis player to win Grand Slam singles titles. She claimed the French Open in 2011, and added a second major title at the Australian Open in January.

Over the course of her career, she won a total of nine WTA singles titles. Her highest ranking of world No.2 is also a record for an Asian player. Her achievements have sparked a surge in the number of tennis players in China.

It is no exaggeration to say that Li has greatly helped expand the -popularity of tennis in China as -Allaster said "She (Li) inspired a -nation."

Now with Li's departure, -Allaster is confident that Chinese fans' passion for the sport will be as strong as ever.

A total of 10 WTA events are to be held in China this year - more than any other country around the world. And in 2015, an 11th WTA event will come to Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province.

Besides Li, there are currently three other top-100 Chinese players in the WTA rankings: Peng Shuai (22), Zhang Shuai (54) and Zheng Jie (77).

Also thousands of young girls in China are playing tennis right now; they "want to be the next Li Na, and realize their dreams on the -international stage. So I see that with a strong foundation, we'll stand on strong shoulders. We will make her proud, and women's tennis has a bright -future thanks to Li Na," -Allaster said.

Next big star

Right now, Chinese fans are curious about who will be able to take over from Li in the post-Li Na era to become China's next world-class -tennis player. Allaster thinks "time will tell," and she said Peng has a chance to achieve that.

Peng has long been known as one of the world's best doubles -specialists, having claimed 17 WTA doubles titles, including two Grand Slam titles with Chinese Taipei's Hsieh Su-wei, with the pair reaching a career high of world No.1 in doubles in Fe. Wholesale Jerseys China   Wholesale Jerseys   Wholesale Jerseys From China   Wholesale Jerseys China Free Shipping   Cheap NBA Jerseys   Cheap College Jerseys Online   Nike NBA Jerseys China   Authentic Soccer Jerseys China   Authentic MLB Jerseys Free Shipping   Retro Soccer Jerseys From China  

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