Li Na receives teary goodbye at China Open

Author:
Publish date:

BEIJING (AP) Chinese tennis star Li Na received a tearful send-off on center court at the China Open on Tuesday, complete with hugs from her former competitors, cheers from home fans, and a bouquet of flowers from Rafael Nadal.

Wearing a black pantsuit and her hair pulled back in a low bun, Li fought back tears as Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova thanked her for being an inspiration and friend, and WTA chairman Stacey Allaster called her ''the player of this decade who has made the most impact and growth on women's tennis.''

Li then thanked the fans for always encouraging her, and did a lap around the court, waving goodbye.

The two-time major winner announced her retirement this month before her hometown Wuhan Open, citing recurring knee injuries.