Li Na was a semi-finalist in 2010 Australian Open and a year later she has reached the same stage, but she was determined to be the first Chinese player to make it to a Grand Slam Final. In 2011 she became the first-ever Grand Slam Champion from China and Asia at the French Open.
|Birthplace:||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Height:||5 ft 7 1/2 in (1.72 m)|
She defeated World Number 1 and top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-final of the 2011 tournament. En route to get there, she trounced German player Andrea Petkovic 6-2/6-4.
She puts her success down to her husband, former Chinese Davis Cup Player Jiang Shan whom she married on 27th January 2006. They have known each other since she was 12-years-old as they both played in the same team in Wuhan, the Central Chinese Metropolis where she was born.
She says it has helped her that she is coached by her husband because he understands what she can do on the court and knows when she gets nervous.
“He has taught me to calm down, to think what I do and the most important thing is the trust between us”, she said.
When they are at home they do not talk tennis. She said life is life and tennis is a job and they certainly do not talk tennis 24 hours a day.
She has had to work to get where she is as her father died when she was 14-years-old and her mother had to deal with everything.
Her mother never watches her matches, even when the Olympic Games was held in Beijing in 2008 she asked her mother to come and watch her, but she told her daughter she did not want to go.
Originally a badminton player she took up tennis when she was 9-years-old and between 1999 and 2004 she won 20 singles titles, 19 of them being ITF events and 1 WTA Title, the first ever to be won by a Chinese woman.
In January 2008 she won her second WTA Tour Title for 3¼ years and she has also won 2 WTA doubles and 16 ITF doubles titles.
She has suffered some injuries throughout her career. In her early 20s, she lost several months at the height of the 2005 season due to an ankle injury and lost the second half of 2007 because of a rib injury.
2011 started with her leading the Asia Pacific Team in the Hong Kong Classic. She lost her first match against World Number 1 Caroline Wozniacki but in the play-off, for 3rd place, she beat 7-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams.
She created history and had the best win of her career at the 2011 Medibank International in Sydney. En route to the final, she beat Anastasia Rodionova, Virginie Razzano, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Bojana Jovanovski. In the final, she beat Kim Clijsters in straight sets to become the first Chinese player to win a Premier Level event.