BEIJING  - Chinese tennis star Li Na played her way to victory in the final of the Shenzhen open on Saturday, beating Czech rival Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.

The world number seven and the competition’s top seed scooped the prize money of $500,000 on home soil by defeating Zakopalova, who was seeded fifth.

Li’s previous singles title was at the 2012 Western and Southern Open in the United States in August — her first since she became a sporting icon in her own country by winning the 2011 French Open.

She cruised into the Shenzhen Open final with a straight sets victory in her semi-final match Friday, but was forced to battle harder over three sets to claim the title.

The Shenzhen Open was played for the first time this year as tennis expands in China on the back of Li’s huge popularity.