Li Na's homecoming celebration in Beijing

Li Na of China, the first Asian to win a Grand Slam title at the French Open, is interviewed by reporters before a celebration organized by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) at Sanlitun SOHO in Beijing, China, July 5, 2011.

"I truly felt that my success belongs not to myself but to the country. Without the support from the government, the society and all my coaches, I would not have done this," said the 30-year-old.

Li became the favorite sport figure in China after she lifted the French Open trophy in June in Paris. Her history-making victory in the world professional sport brings her to overtake well-known NBA Houston Rockets center Yao Ming as the nation's top sports personality.




Li was among a group of outstanding women's tennis players, including fellow WTA player Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie, to wave goodbye to the state-run training and competition system to become an independent professional in 2009.

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