SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Recently retired Chinese tennis trailblazer Li Na, Asia’s only grand slam singles winner, has been appointed as an ambassador for next month’s season ending WTA Tour Finals in Singapore.
The 32-year-old was in position to qualify for the lucrative Oct. 17-26 tournament before announcing she was quitting a fortnight ago after being worn down by the effects of long-term knee injuries.
This year’s Australian Open winner and the 2011 French Open champion will take on her new role for the first two editions of the event, which is switching to Singapore next month for the start of a five-year term.
“This will be a great opportunity for the fans from around the world over to get close to a tennis legend who has inspired a nation and done so much for the game in Asia Pacific,” WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster said in a statement.
“She has inspired a generation of young girls throughout Asia-Pacific with hopes that, they too, can achieve the dream of playing in the WTA Finals.”
The top eight women’s singles and doubles teams will take part in Singapore, only the second Asian country to stage the event after Qatar hosted three editions from 2008.
Editing by John O'Brien