Sports / Tennis

Finally here it goes: Li Na quits

( Updated: 2014-09-19 09:03

Finally it happens: Li Na quits.

China's two-time Grand Slam winner Li Na announced her retirement via Sina Weibo on Friday morning and will hold a press conference on Sunday in Beijing, according to her agent company, IMG.

The breaking news left her fans surprised, especially as it comes on a day when the Asian Games open in Incheon, South Korea, and the Wuhan Open debuts in Li's hometown.

Speculation over Li's retirement has been rife ever since the 32-year-old pulled out of the US Open and other hard-court tournaments afterwards due to knee injuries.

But insiders thought she will not hang up her racket before playing in home tournaments.

All that has changed.

Fabrice Chouquet, event director of Wuhan Open, said he cannot comment because the organizers have not received any official confirmation.

"I know Li Na went to Shanghai and Germany in summer to have her knees treated. But I know nothing about whether she is retiring," said Ma Keqin, chief of Hubei Tennis Sport Management Center, a government-backed body in Li's hometown that pays her salary.

"I felt sorry for her when she withdrew from the US Open. She must have withdrawn from the tournament because her injuries were serious. I know her well. She's been tough since childhood. She will not quit unless there is no alternative," said Xia Xiyao, Li's coach in the 1990s.

"No matter what happens, I wish her well and happiness," Xia added.

Li became an icon for Chinese sports after she won the 2011 French Open, the first Asian to win a Grand Slam singles title.

She reached her career-high in the world ranking after January's Grand Slam win, when she reached the number two position, but has since dropped to sixth after missing a string of tournaments. In July, Li also parted with coach Carlos Rodriguez.


Screenshot of comments about Li Na's retirement on Weibo microblogging site.

Finally here it goes: Li Na quits


Most Popular
What's Hot