Li Na to promote WTA Wuhan Open in home city
Updated: 2015-09-21 10:05
Chinese twice Grand Slams winner Li Na waves to the crowd during a brief retirement ceremony during the 2014 WTA Wuhan Open tennis tournament in Wuhan city, Central China's Hubei province, September 23, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]
WUHAN -- Chinese superstar Li Na will take part in a series of activities held in her home city of Wuhan during the 2015 Wuhan Open to promote the WTA Premier 5 event and tennis culture, organizers announced late Sunday.
On Sept. 27, roughly a year on from her formal farewell to tennis, two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na will appear at the Wuhan Optics Valley International Tennis Center for the official unveiling of a new 15,000-seat stadium, the organizers said.
The stadium, whose construction costs exceed one billion yuan (156 million U.S. dollars), is the biggest of its kind in Asia and will serve as the central court for this year's Wuhan Open tournament.
The next day, the 33-year-old will play tennis with other international stars in front of Wuhan's Yellow Crane Tower, a historical landmark overlooking the Yangtze River, in a bid to promote her home city, the organizers said. Afterwards, she will host a press conference at the Optics Valley International Tennis Center.
Born and raised in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, Li have helped put Chinese tennis on the global map with her victories at the French and Australian Opens. But her retirement has been considered a loss to the Wuhan Open, which is an ambitious undertaking for the city of 10 million people.
The Wuhan Open is part of the Premier 5 tournaments on the WTA Tour and made its debut in the 2014 season. Forty-three players from 19 countries and regions will participate in this year's tournament, which is scheduled to run from Sept. 27 until October 3.
Eight of the world's top 10 women tennis players have confirmed to compete, including defending champion Petra Kvitova.