Sports / Tennis

Li Na named WTA Finals ambassador

( Updated: 2014-09-30 16:32

Tennis fans around the world might have no chance to see Li Na swing for a shot in real matches, but they could still enjoy her charm and humor under spotlight for at least two years.

The 32-year-old super star from China, who just announced her retirement earlier this month, has been named an Official Ambassador of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, the Women's Tennis Association announced on Tuesday.

In her transition from being Asia's highest-ranked player ever to WTA Legend, the two-time Grand Slam champion will serve as an Official Ambassador for the WTA Finals in 2014 and 2015. Li will be joined by an all-star line-up of WTA Legends at this year's event, including Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Marion Bartoli, Iva Majoli and Mary Pierce.

Li, who will attend a special farewell ceremony held by WTA and China Open at the National Tennis Center on Tuesday evening (or who attended), will travel to Singapore to be on hand for the opening Fan Festival Weekend of the WTA Finals, set to be staged in Asia-Pacific for the first time in the event's 44-year history.

Li will be a part of the WTA Finals Fan Fest, appearing on Oct 19, meeting with fans throughout the afternoon. Fan Fest weekend is free of charge and open to the general public.

On Oct 20, Li will meet the participants from the inaugural WTA Future Stars U14 and U16 junior girls' event, which will feature players from 12 different countries. Li will pass the racket to the next generation of stars during the WTA Futures Stars trophy ceremony. Additionally, the Chinese tennis icon will participate in the Opening Ceremony on Oct 20 evening alongside the legendary players, government officials and special guests.

"We are excited to announce Li's role as an Official Ambassador for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, the first time in the event's 44-year history it will be staged in Asia-Pacific," said WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster.

"This will be a great opportunity for the fans from around the world over to get close to a tennis legend, who has inspired a nation and done so much for the game in Asia-Pacific. She has inspired a generation of young girls throughout Asia-Pacific with hopes that, they too, can achieve the dream of playing in the WTA Finals."

Until she announced her retirement from WTA tennis on Sept19, Li's powerful game delivered against the very best. In total, she reached 21 WTA singles finals, highlighted by two Grand Slam titles at 2011 Roland Garros and 2014 Australian Open, as well as semifinals at the US Open and quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

The 2014 WTA Finals will feature the Top 8 singles players in the world competing in a round-robin event, and Top 8 doubles teams competing in a single-elimination draw.

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