Women’s tennis is about to be left very disappointed. Li Na will be announcing her retirement from tennis. The 32 year old has not played since losing in the third round of Wimbledon to Barbora Zhalavova Strycova.
Li has been troubled by a right knee injury that appears not to be responding to treatment and which is making it next to impossible for her to play.
She and her coach Carlos Rodriguez parted company soon after Wimbledon as well.
Li created history not just in tennis but in all sport. She became the first Asian woman to win a major when she claimed the 2011 French Open and at the start of this season added another chapter to her outstanding career by winning the Australian Open.
Besides the Australian Open she also won Shenzhen this year and has nine career titles and she reached a career high franking of two in the world last February.
Li was supposed to play the inaugural tournament in Wuhan but was missing from the draw and she is expected to make her announcement in Beijing rather than in her home city of Wuhan.
Li Na was a near instant hit with fans and also with fellow players. Her efforts on court were always applauded and her sense of humour was priceless at times. Often her humour was at the expense of her husband who took the English name of Dennis “because it rhyme with tennis”.
One match that will remain in the memory was in fact a loss. At the 2013 Australian Open she played the final against Victoria Azarenka and twice fell and hit her head during the match. Still she continued to play while doctors were concerned about things like concussion. It was a very brave effort and that only added to her incredible following.
She has graced the cover of Time magazine and was one of only six tennis players to be named among the top 100 richest and most influential athletes by Forbes magazine.
Adding to her drawing power, she is the only tennis player and that includes Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova who is permitted by the clothing sponsor Nike to display other sponsor logos on her tennis outfits.