She is the most successful tennis player in the history of Chinese sport. She won two Grand Slam singles titles – the 2011 French Open and the 2014 Australian Open – and also reached the finals of the Australian Open in both 2011 and 2013.
In addition to her Grand Slam victories, she was also first Chinese and Asian player to reach a Grand Slam final and the first to reach the top ten in the world rankings.
Li Na has been a role model for youngsters in China and in a large part is responsible for the dramatic growth of tennis in the country, which now has 15 million players.
She was nominated for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award in 2012, after her victory at Roland Garros. After her second Grand Slam win in Australia, she received the 2015 Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award and was elected to the Laureus Academy in 2016.
She achieved a career-high WTA-ranking of world No. 2 in February 2014, but was forced to retire that year because of knee injuries. In her career she won nine WTA singles titles.
Laureus Academy Member and tennis legend Martina Navratilova paid tribute to the achievements of Li Na: “She’s opened a pretty big door in China and in Asia. There are already a lot more Chinese players out there and they will be making their mark. I think first of all we'll see more woman players, but I think we'll see more men players coming out of China thanks to Li Na.”