China's Li Na to be inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/1/22 16:51:34

The first ever Chinese Grand Slam Champion, Li Na, will soon be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF).

Announced in Melbourne on Tuesday during the Australian Open, the CEO of the ITHF Todd Martin said "induction represents the ultimate honor in our sport. It signifies the sum of an individual's career in tennis and the excellence that it embodied."

Officially set to take place at a ceremony on July 20 in the US State of Rhode Island, Li told Xinhua "it's a great honor."

"I hope my induction will help encourage more young people in China to play tennis."

Recognized for her victories at the French Open in 2011 and the Australian Open in 2014, Li gave a surprising answer when she was asked what her most memorable moment was.

"My most memorable moment was here at the Australian Open at the 2011 women's final," she said.

"Although I lost it, that gave me confidence in myself, and from there I knew that I was just one step away from being a champion of the Grand Slam. So the best memory is here in 2011."

But besides her remarkable achievements on the court, the now 36-year-old is also credited for sparking the growing rise of the game across Asia.

"I can only imagine how many people have experienced the sport of tennis that wouldn't have if it weren't for Li Na's accomplishments," Martin said.

"I just really admired the fact that coming from China and being an independent, strong woman, standing out for your sport, for yourself, doing what you wanted to do, kind of like trailblazing for your country, for the sport, for girls to play tennis, to make a pathway for them to be able to have dreams and to achieve them."

"I think that's a huge impact for her country and for her sport and for girls and women."

Joining Li Na in the International Tennis Hall of Fame will be fellow tennis greats Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Mary Pierce.

Posted in: TENNIS

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