| Li Na Bids Farewell |
Beloved for her off court persona and on court talent, Li Na announced her retirement to the tennis world this week prior to the start of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open. As a tennis player for over two decades, Li has pioneered sport in Asia by introducing a wave of new talent to the fold. Her career marked many firsts – the first Asian player to win a WTA title, to reach the top 10 and ultimately win a grand slam, ending with two: Roland Garros 2011 and Australian Open 2014. Li’s presence on the WTA circuit as the highest ranked Asian player will certainly leave a void on the rankings board come October, but remembered, she will be. The likes of Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Kim Clijsters, Rafael Nadal, and other sporting stars took to social media to express their thoughts.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) September 19, 2014
Congratulations to Li Na. A sad day for tennis but I’m sure your future will be bright and the star you left on our sport will never dim.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) September 19, 2014
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) September 19, 2014
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) September 19, 2014
| Robson Joins Nike |
On a lighter note British player Laura Robson, sidelined from the tour in 2014 from a wrist injury, announced her partnership with Nike on social media. A former Adidas girl, Robson sported the designs of Stella McCartney starring alongside Stella stalwarts Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Kirilenko for the 2013 Barricade collection campaign. Her less-than-cryptic instagram post captioned “spot the difference” whilst donning a neon pair of Nike trainers sparked social buzz. Robson finally confirmed her Nike status on Wednesday, tweeting a shot from her new Nike campaign.
— Laura Robson (@laurarobson5) September 24, 2014
| Murray Doing it for the Girls |
A whole host of players and coaches have spoken out in the wake of Gala León García’s appointment as Spain’s first female Davis Cup captain. Notably, Nadal’s “Uncle Toni” seemed to take a disliking to Garcia, speaking out that it would preferable if the captain has “a background in the world of men’s tennis”. Garcia achieved a career high ranking of 27 in a career spanning 14 years, ending in 2007. No stranger to female company, Andy Murray received backlash when he announced his new coach, former world number 1 and two-time grand slam champion, Amélie Mauresmo. Murray took to Twitter to show his support for Garcia.
congrats to Gala Leon Garcia for becoming first female Spanish Davis cup captain today… hopefully first of many!
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) September 22, 2014
| Vika’s Mixed Doubles quest |
Though Victoria Azarenka may have announced her absence from tennis for the rest of 2014, she’s still in pursuit of tennis glory. In response to the Australian Open’s official account Vika posted onto the twittersphere in the hunt for a mixed doubles partner come 2015. Luckily offers flooded in thick and fast, but it was a particular Mr. Nicholas Kyrgios, the 2013 boy’s Australian Open champion, that took Vika’s fancy. Who knows if we’ll be seeing her bumping chests with Kyrgios a la Bryan brothers, and speaking in code behind her wristband. She is a mixed doubles gold medalist, after all.
— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) September 24, 2014
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) September 24, 2014