Li Na – First Chinese Player to create History

Li Na is a former professional tennis player from China who played on the WTA Tour and created history by becoming the first ever Chinese player to win a Grand Slam title when she won the French Open in 2011, going on to win another Grand Slam in the Australian Open in 2014 before retiring due to chronic knee problems.

She achieved a career best ranking of world number two in February 2014 but announced her retirement from the game just seven months after due to her failure to get over the chronic injuries. Li is a nine time WTA event winner, including her two Grand Slam wins, which make her the first and only Asian player to win a Grand Slam title.

Before winning the event, Li Na had already created history by becoming the first player in the history of Asia to reach a Grand Slam final in singles competition when she reached the final of the season opening Australian Open in 2011.

Apart from winning several trophies throughout her career, Li is considered as the pioneer for tennis in Asia, particularly for women after her achievements sparked a major upturn in the number of players taking up the game, not only in China but throughout the continent.

She also finished as the runner up in the Australian Open in 2013 as well as the WTA Tour Championship that same year and was a semi finalist in the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 as well as the 2013 US Open.

Having turned professional in 2002, Li Na changed the way the tennis fraternity looked at players from Asia and completely changed the game as whole in the continent and in her country, she is considered to be a national hero in a nation starved of success in one of the most popular sports.

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