The former world No. 1 Li Na got inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday in Newport. Todd Martin, who is the chief executive, said: "It is the most momentous induction into the Hall of Fame that we have had probably since Andre Agassi was inducted, and certainly until the Federers, Nadals, Djokovics and the Williams sisters of the world retire and get inducted."
Smith was pleased to welcome Mary Pierce, Li Na and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. "We have three great champions here", he said. "This year the Hall of Fame class, they're incredibly hard-working athletes and achieve goals of tennis' highest levels.
I'd like to tell you a little bit about their stories, then open it up to your questions. Mary Pierce won her first major in 1995, the Australian Open. Five years later at her nation's home slam, Mary won both singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros.
She reached a career high in No. 3 in both singles and doubles, and won 18 singles titles and 10 doubles titles. Mary was an integral part of the two championship Fed Cup teams. Mary will be introduced this afternoon by her coach, Nick Bollettieri, who is also a Hall of Famer.
This year it's our pleasure to welcome the first-ever Chinese Hall of Famer, Li Na. The trailblazer for tennis in her nation, Li Na won two Grand Slam titles in singles, first a French Open in 2011, later the Australian Open in 2014.
She reached a career high ranking of No. 2, and won nine titles. Li Na's accomplishments resulted in a transformation of popularity of tennis in China. More than 116 million people tuned in to watch her win the French Open final."