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Li Na

Category: All Stars & MVPs, Tennis & ATP, Women in Sports
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Biography:

Li Na is a Chinese professional tennis player currently ranked no. 3 in the world. Na has won 9 World Tennis Association singles titles and 19 International Tennis Federation singles titles. After winning the 2011 French Open singles title, Na became the only Grand Slam singles champion from an Asian country.

Sports Speaker Na enjoyed playing badminton as an only child, and her coach recommended to Na’s parents that she try tennis; the way she played badminton made her look like a tennis player. Na’s talent for the sport became immediately apparent, and she became a professional in 1999 as a teenager. During this year, Na won three singles ITF singles tournaments and seven ITF doubles tournaments. The following year, Na won her first WTA doubles title at the Tashkent Open. In 2004, Na captured her first WTA singles title at Guangzhou International. In Britain two years later, Na won her second WTA doubles title with Jelena Jankovic. Na had a very successful year in 2011, winning Medibank International Sydney and the French Open. By clinching the French Open title, Na became the first player representing an Asian country to win a Grand Slam singles championship. Na continued her success in 2012, winning the Western and Southern Open, as well as the Shenzhen Open. In 2014, Na won both the Australian Open and the Schenzhen Open.

Na is one of the most marketable athletes in the world. She endorses many companies, including Nike, Mercedes-Benz, Haagen-Dazs, Rolex, Samsung, and Visa.  In 2013, Na appeared on the cover of Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World; she was one of only four athletes to be named to the list. Na also appeared in the 2012 Forbes Celebrity 100 list along with fellow tennis player Maria Sharapova. Na is a global icon and her Sina Weibo microblogging site has over 22 million followers.