CCTV, the Chinese state-owned news outlet, is reporting that reigning Australian Open champion, Li Na, will announce her retirement according to her agent, Max Eisenbud:
#LiNa, China’s two-time Grand Slam winner, expected to announce #retirement due to injuries, according to her agent pic.twitter.com/3fTFL9hYvOLi, who reached a career-high of No. 2 in the rankings, withdrew from all the summer hard-court tourneys, including the US Open, to deal with a recurring knee injury.
— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) September 18, 2014
If she does retire, it will be unfortunate timing for the WTA. Asia has been a big focus for the women's tour recently, and Li is the region's most recognizable star (and the second highest-earning female athlete in the world behind Maria Sharapova). The season-ending WTA Championships was moved from Turkey to Singapore this year for the first time. Moreover, the inaugural tournament in Li's hometown of Wuhan is set to begin next week (she's still on the competitor's list).
I'll update this post if and when the news is confirmed.
[Photo(s) credit: Getty Images]