Beijing, Sep 19 (IANS): China's first and only Grand Slam winner Li Na formally announced her retirement from tennis on Friday. Li, 32, made the announcement on her microblog, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, a day after rumours about her leaving had already spread all over internet and social media.
Li called 2014 "one of the most important years" in her life, as well as a "difficult one".
"I have experienced things that I have to stand up to, including making a decision to end my tennis career," Li wrote in her microblog. Experiencing ups and downs in 2012 and 2013, Li found the top of her game again this year, bagging a second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
Li had also won the French Open in 2011, becoming the first ever Asian woman to win a singles Grand Slam title.
"As a professional, it is the right decision to step away from the tennis court now," said the Wuhan native, whose hometown is holding the first WTA event that started Friday.
Li's retirement has come as a surprise but is an understandable decision. Speculation has been rife since she pulled out of the US Open and other hard-court tournaments because of knee injuries that flared up in July.
Her husband Jiang Shan revealed on Friday that Li is currently receiving treatment on both her knees in Germany.