QUOTE 7, APRIL 2016
Greetings this week come from the home of Pandas, in Chengdu, China. It has been an honour and a privilege to be here this past week mentoring the next generation of champions, the top 8 boys and girls in the world. Tennis is such an education for life. Li Na, the extraordinary sporting icon that she is here in China, summarises this well in sharing the treasures tennis has given her.
Tennis has brought me much more than just fame; it’s brought me profound emotion. The joy I felt the first time I won a WTA Championship; the nervousness of playing in a Grand Slam; the surreal feeling of being watched by more than ten thousand spectators as I walked nervously across centre court; the first time I spoke uncomfortably in English at an interview; the first time I saw an inaccurate report about me and suffered the hurt alone; the joy of hearing my coach say I could enter the ranks of the world’s top twenty players; quietly applauding myself when I defeated a top ten player for the first time; the horror of undergoing surgery and the subsequent rehab, and wondering whether I would be able to continue my tennis career; the peace of mind I felt when I didn’t have to worry about paying the team expenses; the pride I felt when I broke into the world’s top ten; the first time I came close to a Grand Slam trophy and simultaneously felt the disappointment and the thirst for that top prize; the emotions I had when I held a Grand Slam trophy for the first time; the touching moment when I heard out national anthem in the middle of the court at the French Open; the first time I felt helpless to bear up under all of the pressure and stress…..
All of these and more are the most important treasures that tennis has bought into my life.
Li Na, Winner of the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open
For all those athletes and aspiring high achievers, take time to reflect and really enjoy the journey and the wonderful lessons that life brings you every day. It is all the trials and tribulations you experience along the journey that make you even stronger and help you to become Extraordinary.
Wishing you quintessential success