Li Na, the first Chinese Grand Slam singles title winner after her success at the French Open, rejected an offer to take up a government post – the latest in a series of rewards from her country.
The 29-year-old returned to China to a hero’s welcome after reaching a career-high world number four ranking following victory at Roland Garros last month, where she defeated Francesca Schiavone.
The government in her native Hubei province in particular has showered her with honours and wanted to appoint her deputy head of the provincial tennis administration centre, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
‘I heard about it but haven’t taken it seriously. I am not capable of managing others. Even if I do, I can only handle my husband Jiang Shan,’ she was quoted as saying in the report.
‘In addition, I am still playing now. I don’t have the energy for other things right now,’ said Li, who is known for her quirky, outgoing personality.
She pocketed a 600,000 yuan (S$114,000) cheque from the Hubei government – which has saluted her as a pioneer – on top of the US$1.65 million (S$2.03 million) in prize money she got for taking the French Open title.