Li Na, this year’s Australian Open champion and the winner of the 2011 French Open, announced her retirement on Friday via a post on her Facebook page. The 32-year-old, who was the first Chinese player to win a Major, cited worsening knee injuries as the reason for her decision.
“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. My previous three surgeries were on my right knee. My most recent knee surgery took place this July and was on my left knee. After a few weeks of post-surgery recovery, I tried to go through all the necessary steps to get back on the court. While I’ve come back from surgery in the past, this time it felt different. One of my goals was to recover as fast as I could in order to be ready for the first WTA tournament in my hometown of Wuhan. As hard as I tried to get back to being 100%, my body kept telling me that, at 32, I will not be able to compete at the top level ever again. The sport is just too competitive, too good, to not be 100%,” she wrote.
Li had not played since her third-round loss at Wimbledon, and more recently pulled out of the US Open.
Cover Photo (Creative Commons License): Kulitat