Tennis trailblazer Li Na sees some similarities with Osaka

Tennis trailblazer Li Na sees some similarities with Osaka

Kafelnikov was also the singles champion at the 1999 Australian Open, and he won four Grand Slam doubles titles - three at Roland Garros and one at the US Open. The Russian, who retired in 2003, will be inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame this July in Newport.

In 2014, Li won a second major title, this time at the Australian Open, where she was a finalist in 2011 and 2013.

The new inductees will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 24 in a special ceremony in Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open, joined by many other Hall of Fame tennis legends who will gather to welcome them for the first time as Hall of Fame inductees.

She joins Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the Class of 2019, which was announced Monday at the Australian Open.

Krejcikova and Siniakova won the French Open and Wimbledon doubles titles previous year and reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open to finish 2018 with the No. 1 ranking. Kafelnikov is also an Olympic gold medalist, having won at the 2000 Games in Sydney, and he was integral to Russia's 2002 Davis Cup title.He will be inducted alongside former WTA greats Li Na of China and France's Mary Pierce.

"I'm incredibly honored to become a Hall of Famer", Li Na said in a statement. "I look forward to the celebration in Newport this year and to becoming a Hall of Famer".

"I hope my induction will help encourage more young people in China to play tennis". Her accomplishments rank her among the best in the history of our sport, and it is well deserved that her inspiring life and career will be honored at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

"I just really admired the fact that coming from China and being an independent, strong woman, standing out for your sport, for yourself, doing what you wanted to do, kind of like trailblazing for your country, for the sport, for girls to play tennis, to make a pathway for them to be able to have dreams and to achieve them".

Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a nonprofit institution that preserves and promotes the history of tennis and celebrates its champions, thereby serving as a vital partner in the growth of tennis globally. A minimum of 75 percent affirmative votes is required.

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