Melbourne: Chinese tennis star Li Na announced she was pregnant yesterday in front of 15,000 cheering fans at the Australian Open.
China's retired tennis ace Li Na poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup as she officially opens the Australian Open at Melbourne Park yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
The two-time Grand Slam winner, hugely popular at the Australian Open where she won the title last year and reached the final in 2011 and 2013, unexpectedly retired in September.
She is a guest of honour at Melbourne Park and told the crowd in Rod Laver Arena ahead of Roger Federer's opening match that she was expecting her first child.
"A mere 12 months ago, I stood on this court clutching the Australian Open trophy tightly in my hands, a huge grin on my face, overwhelmed with joy and a sense of accomplishment that I shared with everyone who had helped me along the road to this incredible achievement," she said.
"Today, all of those emotions came back to me, yet I had extra butterflies in my stomach because I wanted to share a very special secret with the Australian Open fans.
Over the years, they have supported me and truly helped my success, so it felt just right to let them in on a little secret I've been holding on to for a few months now. This summer, Dennis and I are expecting our first child.
And it really feels like this baby is going to enter the world already having about 15,000 friends."