Former French Open and Australian Open champion Li Na, the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam singles title, planned to announce Friday morning in Beijing that she was retiring because of worsening of knee injuries that had plagued her throughout her career. (Also read: Sad day for tennis, says Martina Hingis on Li Na's Exit)
Li, 32, has not played since a third-round loss at Wimbledon in July. She withdrew from the U.S. Open in August, citing her knee injury, and made plans to announce her retirement in a letter posted on social media.
"The task of finally making a decision to hang up my racquet felt a lot more difficult than winning seven matches in a row in the Australian heat," she wrote in the letter. "It took me several agonizing months to finally come to the decision that my chronic injuries will never again let me be the tennis player that I can be. Walking away from the sport, effective immediately, is the right decision for me and my family."