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Sunday, September 21, 2014, 10:46

Li Na holds press conference to announce retirement

By / Agencies
Li Na holds press conference to announce retirement
In this June 23, 2014 file photo, Li Na of China reacts during her first round match against Paula Kania of Poland at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London. (Photo / AP)

Li Na, a two-time Grand Slam champion from China who took tennis in Asia to a new level, officially announced her retirement at a press conference in Beijing on Sunday.

Li, China's first and only Grand Slam winner, is not expected to completely detach from tennis. Instead, she plans to open her own tennis school and will participate in some events for public good, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The 32-year-old Li posted a statement on social media sites Friday, saying that her retirement is due to recurring knee injuries, ending a week of intense speculation that she would announce her retirement ahead of the new WTA event at Wuhan, her home town.

Li won the 2011 French Open, becoming the first player from China to win a Grand Slam singles title, and clinched the Australian Open title in January in her third trip to the final at Melbourne Park to reach a career-high No.2 ranking.

She hasn't played since a third-round defeat at Wimbledon, withdrawing from the US Open citing a knee injury.

"Most people in the tennis world know that my career has been marked by my troubled right knee," Li said in the open letter she posted online.

"After four knee surgeries and hundreds of shots injected into my knee weekly to alleviate swelling and pain, my body is begging me to stop the pounding."

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