Two-time grand slam winner Li Na has announced her retirement from tennis after failing to recover from a long lasting knee injury.
The 32-year-old won the Australian Open in January for her second major title after also winning the French Open in 2011.
In total she won nine WTA Tour titles and was a runner up on 12 other occasions.
She had not played since losing in the third round at Wimbledon in June and the following month underwent knee surgery.
She announced her retirement in an open letter to her fans in which she said ‘‘after four knee surgeries and hundreds of shots injected into my knee weekly to alleviate swelling and pain, my body is begging me to stop the pounding’‘.
She added she would now focus on plans to continue to grow the sport in her home country, including the creation of her own tennis academy.
Li – who ended her career whilst ranked world number six – became a national sporting hero in China after becoming Asia’s first Grand Slam singles champion with her victory at Roland Garros.