"It's humbling and gratifying, and I'm thrilled to become part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame". European or ex-Russian players invariably receive far more attention as Australians - given the grand slam status of the Australian Open and the national tennis heritage - than they would if they retained their original nationality. He is the first Russian tennis player to have won a Grand Slam singles title and the last man to have won both the singles and doubles titles at the same Grand Slam tournament.
China's Li Na reacts during a ceremony marking the day they have been elected to be included in the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Rod Laver Arena at the 2019 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, on January 22, 2019.
"Li was an incredibly dedicated athlete who set and achieved goals at tennis' highest levels". Her accomplishments rank her among the best in the history of our sport, and it is well deserved that her inspiring life and career will be honored at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
"We look forward to celebrating Li Na, along with Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and welcoming them as Hall of Famers in Newport in July".
"My most memorable moment was here at the Australian Open at the 2011 women's final", she said.
Those on-court achievements, along with Li's engaging personality, helped spur interest in tennis at home in China.
Pierce's title at the 2000 French Open was the most recent in singles for a French player at Roland Garros; she also won a doubles title there that year.
The Player Voting Group, which consists of tennis media, historians, Hall of Famers and other experts, then vote to determine who will be inducted. This is not a year of eligibility for the Hall of Fames other two categories Contributor and Wheelchair.
Nominees needed to be named on at least 75 percent of the ballots.
The hall selection process included a fan vote for the first time, via online balloting.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame, located in Newport, United States, was established in 1954.