发布时间：2016-07-11 来源：新东方在线 发布人：young
A legend says ‘goodbye’
“I’m at peace with it. I have no regrets.” Li Na posted this bittersweet statement about her retirement from professional tennis to her social networking accounts last Friday. During Sunday’s farewell news conference, she wiped tears from her face, revealing just how hard it was for her to come to this decision.
The two-time Grand Slam champion, 32, has not played in a professional tournament since her third-round loss to the Chezch Republic’s Barbora Zahlavova Strycova at Wimbledon 2014.
In July, Li underwent a fourth surgery on her knee and said she hoped to be back for the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, to be held in her hometown, but was unable to recover from her injuries.
“This sport is just too competitive, too good, for me to play at below 100 percent,” Li said in her post, citing a history of knee injuries.
It’s certainly the end of an era, or in Swiss tennis legend Martin Hingis’ words, “a sad day for Chinese tennis and for the sport in general”.
At the age of 17, Li went professional and began training in the state sports system. After the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, she made the life-changing decision to leave the national team.
The aggressive baseliner has since become one of the region’s biggest stars and the poster girl for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).After her win at the 2011 French Open, Li became the first player from Asia to win a Grand Slam singles title.
She went on to claim another Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this past January. At the height of her career, she was ranked the world’s No 2 player behind the US’ Serena Williams.
Despite her tough-as-nails approach on the court, Li won millions of admirers with her warm and charming personality outside the arena. Her frequent joking in courtside interviews about life with Jiang Shan, 34, her former coach and husband of eight years, helped her become a global icon.
Li’s biggest accomplishment, however, is her contribution to the rise of tennis in China. Just a few years ago, the sport was still in its infancy. The number of female women’s tennis events in China has shot up from two to 10 over the course of the past decade.
“I’ve seen change happening before my eyes … young girls picking up tennis racquets, setting goals, following their hearts, and believing in themselves,” Li said in her post.
Li is more than a sports superstar, she’s an inspiration to millions. In that sense, she’s achieved more in her professional life than most can ever dream.