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The French Open has come to a close, and Chinese female tennis star Li Na is the first player from Asia to win a grand slam singles title. The record-setting win came after a tense match against last year's winner, Italy's Francesca Schiavone
Li's win makes her the latest Chinese athlete to make a name on the international stage, alongside such names as U.S. basketball's Yao Ming and Olympic runner Liu Xiang (LEO she-ANG). Now perhaps China's most prominent female athlete, she's reported to have become a role model, partly due to her unconventional career track.
After early success, she quit China's national team in order to pursue a journalism degree. Returning briefly, she left government-managed sports again in 2008 to play as an independent professional, with her husband as her coach. Known for her free-thinking, sense of humor, and drive to succeed, Li Na boasts millions of well-earned fans.