According to sports analysts, the rapid growth of tennis interest worldwide will not falter because of Li Na’s injury that forced her to retire from the sport.
Li Na is an icon of Asian tennis along with Kei Nishikori from Japan, who had recently won the Japan Open.
On the same day the World Tennis Association (WTA) had acclaimed her as a “friend of the Australian Open,” China had unveiled a new tennis tournament in Zuhai in Southern China.
Li Na said that she is very happy to be named as the friend of the Australian Open. She said that it has always been her favourite tournament because China feels that it is the Grand Slam event closest to them. She said winning in the Australian Open meant sharing her glory with all of China.
The event is known as the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, incorporating both singles and doubles competition. It has a prize money worth $2.15 million dollars and will be the eighteenth Women’s Tennis events scheduled for 2015.
In 2008, the WTA opened its office in Zhuhai, China as Asia slowly developed its interest and industry of tennis.
The former Australian Open Deputy Tournament Director and WTA Current Managing Director of Asia Pacific Peter Johnston will be running the Zhuhai tournament. It is set to be played a week after the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore.
According to Johnston, the Zhuhai tournament will help the WTA find the rising stars of tennis and will feature the WTA’s best players worldwide.