With many of her WTA competitors around her, Li Na was bid a fond farewell at the 2014 China Open in Beijing. The Asian tennis pioneer and 2-time Major winner announced her retirement prior to the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open held in her hometown of Wuhan, China. She received a ceremony there, but this one in Beijing was a more elaborate affair. There were many tributes and gifts from officials, players and friends. Among the players in attendance were Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Sabine Lisicki and a special appearance by Rafael Nadal. Especially moving was Petra Kvitova’s part at around 11 minutes and 30 seconds of the following video:
Li Na has also been named WTA Finals ambassador, so her fans (like me) will have another chance to see her this year before she settles into her life away from the tour. I am definitely going to miss her. She’s committed to her tennis academy in China and has spoken of wanting to start a family. I wish Li Na every happiness.
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