Chinese tennis legend and Wuhan local Li Na will celebrate her induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at a special Opening Ceremony for this year’s Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, which begins on 20th September.
Wuhan is known for its showstopping opening ceremonies and this year’s 45 minute long celebration is set to be an even more special occasion when Li Na, who was born and raised in Wuhan, is honoured for making history in becoming the first Asian player to join International Tennis Hall of Fame.
The ceremony is scheduled for the evening of Sunday September 22nd, the first day of main draw play at the WTA Premier 5 tournament. It will kickstart a week of world class tennis featuring the best players from around the globe.
Li Na is an Official Ambassador for the Wuhan Open and will also make a series of other special appearances during the tournament, giving fans a chance to see their home-town hero in the flesh. She will also host a charity event, take part in a night cruise along Wuhan’s famous Yangzte River and some lucky fans will even have the chance to hit with the two-time Grand Slam champion as she joins them on court.
This year’s Wuhan Open is set to feature some of the very best current players on the WTA Tour, including World No.1 and Roland Garros winner Ashleigh Barty, World No.2 Karolina Pliskova, and reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka – all of whom are locked in competition for the No.1 ranking – as well as Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, two-time Wuhan Open and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and 2015 Wuhan Open champion Venus Williams.
Li Na said:
“Being recognised by the International Tennis Hall of Fame, in front of the whole world, is one of the biggest moments of my career. I’m proud of being the first Asian player to be inducted. I hope I’m the first of many.
To be able to celebrate that honour at home and with the fans in Wuhan, at a tournament which makes me so proud and happy, is very special. Everything in my career, every moment of history, comes back to Wuhan because this is where it all began.”
Wuhan Open Co-Tournament Director Brenda Perry said:
“Li Na’s elevation to the International Tennis Hall of Fame was a wonderful moment for Wuhan and for our tournament, which is so proud to have her as our official ambassador. She is an inspiration, an icon of global sport and a pioneer for tennis in Asia, especially China. But to Wuhan she is even more than that; she is a much-loved daughter.
"The tournament welcomes Li Na home to Wuhan with open arms and we all look forward to celebrating her achievement in joining the legends of the sport in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.”
Wuhan Open Co-Tournament Director (Ms) Quiping Li said:
“It is hard to put into words what Li Na means to Wuhan. She is one of our own and her success has been truly inspirational for our city, for its people and for our tournament. Our Opening Ceremony and our celebration of her induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame will be an evening full of pride and joy. It’s a chance for fans to celebrate a great upcoming week of tennis as well as an icon of the sport and of Wuhan.”