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Long time coming: Chinese legend Li Na becomes first Asian inductee into International Tennis Hall of Fame

She joins Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the Class of 2019, which was announced Monday at the Australian Open.

Reported by: AP Melbourne Published on: January 21, 2019 8:58 IST
International Tennis Hall of Fame
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Li Na in a file image.

Li Na is the first player from Asia elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

She joins Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the Class of 2019, which was announced Monday at the Australian Open.

All three players won a pair of Grand Slam singles titles — one at Melbourne Park and the other at Roland Garros.

Li retired in 2014 at age 32 because of recurring knee injuries. She won the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open, making her the first tennis player born in Asia to collect a major singles title and helping grow the sport in her native China.

Kafelnikov won the 1996 French Open and 1999 Australian Open, while Pierce was the champion at the 1995 Australian Open and 2000 French Open.

The induction ceremony is July 20 at the hall in Newport, Rhode Island.

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