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China's Grand Slam winner Li Na on Tennis Hall of Fame ballot

Updated: 2018-08-23 10:41
Former tennis player Li Na poses for photographs after receiving the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement award at the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai April 15, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Li Na could become the first player from Asia elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The two-time major champion from China is one of eight Grand Slam title winners who are candidates for the International Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2019, a list that includes Goran Ivanisevic, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Conchita Martinez.

Also on the slate revealed Wednesday for the Hall's first election that will include a fan vote: Jonas Bjorkman, Sergi Bruguera, Thomas Muster and Mary Pierce.

Li retired at age 32 because of recurring knee injuries in 2014, about eight months after winning the Australian Open and rising to a career-best No. 2 in the WTA rankings. She also won the 2011 French Open by beating four top-10 opponents along the way, making her the first Asian-born tennis player to collect any Grand Slam singles trophy.

Her success on the court, and engaging personality off it, helped grow her sport back home.

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