Li Na is a former tennis player who was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2019 and she was one of Raducanu’s favorite players growing up.
Raducanu had two idols growing up, one being Li Na and the other being Simona Halep. The importance of the Chinese player goes far beyond simply inspiring future generations, although that is a big part of it. His breakthrough and triumph at the 2011 French Open sparked a lot of interest in his country.
Chris Evert noted that in an essay for Time Magazine writes:
“Tennis has exploded in China. The country now has some 15 million tennis players; 116 million people watched Li win the French Open. This type of exposure is crucial for our sport, and it would never have happened without Li.”
Its Roland Garros final has so far been one of the most watched sporting events in China with 116 million viewers. She added another Grand Slam tournament in 2014 at the Australian Open. Evert further wrote:
“At tournaments, I’ve seen her charm the crowds. When she smiles, everyone melts. everyone’s face.