Li Na reflects on Australian Open

Na retired from professional tennis last year due to injuries, despite winning the Australian Open at the beginning of what looked to be a promising season. 

The Chinese star has several projects keeping her busy since she hung up her tennis racket.

Na said: "I have always loved this tournament (the Australian Open). Players call it the Happy Slam, and it is, really, because of the great fans of Australia but also [tournament director] Craig Tiley, and everyone at Tennis Australia is so great and takes such good care of the players. I have always had a special connection with the fans there as well, and they have embraced me and [my husband] Dennis over the years. I feel a special bond with them like they really understand me."

"I always felt like there were a lot of Chinese people coming to the Australian Open, so many Chinese flags there. My first Grand Slam semi-final also happened in Australia, and Chinese people got to know me very well from this event a few years ago. So this has always been my favourite Slam, and I am glad I can come back this year and be a part of it again."

Na discussed the academy she intends to open as part of her post-retirement career, saying she is excited to play a part in creating a new generation of Asian tennis stars.

She said: "I want children to play tennis and receive a good education in the academy. They will have the freedom to choose if they want to turn professional or go academic. They can also just be like other kids: enjoy a normal childhood and the fun that playing sports brings to them.

"I also want to help the kids who love to learn tennis but do not have the money. We will work with big companies and set up scholarships for these talented kids and motivate them to strive for the best. It is still in early stages, so lots of work to be done.