Wuhan, Hubei, China
Date of Birth :
February 26, 1982
Place of Birth :
Wuhan, Hubei, China
Married (Jiang Shan in January 27, 2006)
Jiang Shan ( Just recently fired her husband as coach )
Enjoys swimming, reading
Li is a Chinese professional tennis player. Li has won 5 WTA and 19 ITF singles titles. She will be ranked World No. 4 by WTA on June 6, 2011.
In January 2011, Li reached the singles final at the Australian Open, where she was defeated by Kim Clijsters in 3 tight sets. In June 2011, Li won the 2011 French Open by defeating the defending champion Francesca Schiavone in the final, and became the first national of an Asian country to win a Grand Slam singles title.
When Li was 6 years old, she became a badminton player, but her coach kept noticing that she looked as if she were playing tennis. By the time she was 8, her coach asked her parents if she could switch to tennis, which she did at the age of 9. Li joined China's National Tennis Team in 1997 and turned pro in 1999.
At the end of 2002, Li left the national tennis team to study at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, where she completed her bachelor degree in journalism eventually in 2009.
The Chinese media mostly cited the conflict between her and the national team as the reason she quit. Some reported that the relationship between her and her teammate, future husband Jiang Shan, was opposed by the national team, some reported that her national coach Yu Liqiao was too strict towards her and her teammates, which was claimed by Li afterwards, others reported that she asked for a personal coach rather than a shared coach but was rejected.
However, Li returned to the national team in 2004. Jiang Shan married Li and became her personal coach in 2006. In 2008, Li quit the national team, becoming a free player. As a member of the team, she had to pay 65 percent of her prize money to the government. She now pays 8 to 12 percent.
Between 1999 and 2004, Li won 20 women's singles titles: 19 ITF events and one—the first ever won by a Chinese woman—on the WTA Tour. In January 2008, she won her second WTA Tour title after a drought of over three and a quarter years.
She is noted in her playing style for quick reflexes and athleticism around the court and fast groundstrokes which she scatters unpredictably to all corners of the playing surface.
Li also frequently enters doubles tournaments at events alongside singles, and has won two WTA doubles titles and 16 further ITF doubles events. Her early success in doubles came mostly with Li Ting; but more recently she has made a habit of forming temporary women's doubles partnerships with players with whom she has previously enjoyed a healthy rivalry through repeated head-to-head meetings in singles tournaments, notably Liu Nan-Nan, Nicole Pratt, Yan Zi, Jelena Janković, and Peng Shuai.
Her career has been plagued by injuries and other troubles that have prevented her from playing for lengthy periods. She suffered a two-year hiatus from competition in her early 20s, lost several months at the height of the 2005 season to an ankle injury, and lost the second half of 2007 to a rib injury.
Grand Slam Finals
Singles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)
||Opponent in Final
||Score in Final
|| Australian Open
|| Kim Clijsters
|| 6–3, 3–6, 3–6
|| French Open
|| Francesca Schiavone
|| 6–4, 7–6(0)