The French Open, famously won by Li Na in 2011, gets underway in less than two weeks, and to mark the highlight of the clay court season, GQ China has done a photo shoot with the Chinese star. Li called it one of the most fun shoots she’s done “in years” and the results are below (photos via Sina and Li Na’s Facebook page). Check out the crazy tan lines on her wrists (from her wristbands) and on her right knee (from the SpiderTech tape she’s worn since 2009).
A couple more Li Na items before we get into Olympic season… A video doing the rounds shows Li being slapped by a local sports official back at the National Games in 2001.
A simplistic view often peddled in the western press is that the rebellious Li Na, tattoo and all, broke free of the state-run system when she and three others decided to “fly solo” in 2008. Under the new arrangement, the players could choose their own support team, arrange their own schedule and – crucially – keep the vast majority of their prize money instead of forking it over to the Chinese Tennis Association.