Li Na climbs the million dollar ladder and is almost at the top!

With over 60 million people watching around the world, Li Na took out Francesca Schiavone in the 2011 French Open Finals to become the first Chinese person to win a singles tennis Grand Slam tournament. This 29 year old took the world by storm on that special day in June and it was not going to be a quiet day in history. Li Na would not only rise to become no. 6 in the world on the WTA tennis tour but would become a household name around the world and a hero in the hearts of many tennis fans and future players.

According to an article in Bloomberg dated Jul 31, 2011 the 29 year old Li Na is set to become the world’s second – highest earning female athlete with endorsements slated to total around $42 million dollars. Other top tennis players including Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to name a few have also enjoyed success with endorsements but it seems that Li Na has made it to the top quickly and under the radar.

With a Babolat racket in her hand, Nike shoes on her feet, a Mercedes in her garage and a her name associated with tennis academy to come, what else could one need. It is great to see such a new champion emerge and the hopes that she brings to so many. If she has a good solid team around her than can she stay rooted? Sometimes I question the impact that money has on player’s future playing potential. Rock Icons and movie stars can easily fall to the perils of money and many fans are left with the aftermath. How different is the professional sports world and all its fame and glamour. Players are susceptible to the same temptations and stressors. Li Na is not as young as other players before her who reached this status and perhaps her solid world experience will keep her down to earth. Hoping for more great tennis things to come from Li Na.

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