Li Na: No regrets about retirement

WUHAN, China -- Li Na, a two-time Grand Slam champion from China who took tennis in Asia to a new level, said Sunday she had "no regrets" about her decision to retire over long time issues with knee injuries.

"I'm very satisfied with my tennis career," the 32-year-old Li, a former French and Australian Open champion, said at a news conference at China's National Tennis Centre.

"I feel this is the best time for me to retire. I don't feel sorry or have any regrets about retiring. When I was making this decision, I asked myself, 'If I retire, will I regret it?'"

"My heart told me I wouldn't, because I've done my best," she said.

Li first posted the news on her microblog Friday, referring to the knee problem.

Li won the 2011 French Open, becoming the first player from China to win a Grand Slam singles title, and clinched the Australian Open title in January in her third trip to the final at Melbourne Park.

She only entered seven tournaments after that, and hasn't played since a third-round defeat at Wimbledon. She withdrew from three tournaments in August, including the US Open, citing a right knee injury.

"After the surgery in July, I tried very hard to recover, hoping I can make it to participate in tennis matches in China especially the Wuhan Tennis Open which is the first ever big tennis match in my hometown, Li said.

"However, this is my fourth big surgery, and with my age and physical state, it is hard for me."

Li set a host of milestones for tennis in China, including being the first Chinese player to win a WTA title, the first to win a major and the first to break into the top 20.

In the immediate future is the establishment of a Li Na Tennis Academy. In the not-too-distant future, she's hoping to start a family.

"What I really want to do now is try to set up a tennis school of my own and do basic things to help build up the base for Chinese tennis," said Li. "Like a pyramid, I believe only with a solid base, Chinese tennis can have a better future.'

"As a tennis player, I really have little time with friends and family. I feel I owe a lot to my family and friends. I seldom spent and celebrated important holidays and festivals with them."

"'I will take the next one month or two to have a good rest, mainly with my family and friends," she added.