While Li Na’s retirement from the sport of tennis initially prompted an emotional response from the tennis community, cooler heads prevailed soon afterwards and brought up the concern about the future of Chinese tennis without the region’s top star.
While it is a fair concern for the Asian tennis community, particularly in China, Li is quite certain that the sport will flourish without her all the same.
“I believe China’s tennis enjoys a bright future,” said Li. “I don’t want to draw comparisons between other tennis players and me, because everyone comes from a different background with different processes of growing up. But I believe that China’s tennis will get better in the future.
“Secondly, without love it is impossible for me to keep on playing on tennis court for so many years, so after retirement, my goal is to set up my own tennis institute, and starting from this institute I hope to help more children to have the opportunity of learning playing tennis. “
One of Li’s final tennis accomplishments was helping bring a tennis event to her hometown of Wuhan, China. It is an event that featured the entire Top 20 in the WTA rankings and served as key event in the Asian Swing.
“I am very proud that there has been a WTA event at such high level held in Wuhan, which is a very good thing for the tennis fans not only in Wuhan but also in China, because they have got the opportunity to come face to face with these players and they can watch these high‑level matches.
“And, more importantly, they can learn more about the life of these players, because normally they learn life of players only through broadcast on TV,” Li added. “Off courts they get little understanding of these players, but now they have the opportunity.”