"Crucial for our sport" - Chris Evert on Li Na, Emma Raducanu's idol growing up

Li Na is a former tennis player who was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2019 and she was one of the favourite players of Raducanu growing up.

Raducanu had two idols growing up, with one being Li Na, and the other being Simona Halep. The importance of the Chinese player is far beyond just inspiring future generations although that's a big part of it. Her breakthrough and her triumph at the 2011 French Open created a lot of interest in her country.

Chris Evert noted that in an essay for Time Magazine writing:

“Tennis has exploded in China. The country now has some 15 million tennis players; 116 million watched Li win the French Open. That kind of exposure is crucial to our sport, and it never would have happened without Li."

Her Roland Garros final was one of the most watched sports events in China up until that point racking up 116 million viewers. She added another grand slam back in 2014 at the Australian Open. Evert further wrote:

"At tournaments, I’ve seen her charm the crowds. When she smiles, everyone melts. She’s just such a breath of fresh air. Her friendly on-court demeanour as well as her hilariously-witty post-match interviews bring a smile to everyone’s face.”

Read more about:
WTA Chris Evert Emma Raducanu Li Na

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