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Rare photos of global superstar Li Na

People's Daily Online)  16:37, January 28, 2013  

Photo reproduced from an old photo shows 100-day-old Li Na. (Xinhua/Zhou Guoqiang)

Edited and translated by Ye Xin, People's Daily Online

Losing the final of the Australian Open is unlikely to stop Li Na from becoming a global superstar.

China's 30-year-old tennis ace twisted her ankle and also hit her head as she fought against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Saturday night. However, she earned immense respect, and gave another boost for the sport in China. 

Li Na was born on Feb. 26, 1982, in Wuhan, Hubei, China. When she was six, Li started playing badminton, following her father's footsteps. Just before she turned eight, Li made the transition from badminton to tennis when she and her parents were convinced by coach Xia Xiyao of the Wuhan youth tennis club that this would be the right career move for her. Li joined China's National Tennis Team in 1997 and turned professional in 1999.

Li won the 2011 French Open singles title, becoming the first player from Asia to win a Grand Slam in singles; she is the first player from an Asian country to appear in a Grand Slam singles final.

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