September 28, 2009 10:52 ET

IMG Signs Li Na

Asia and China's No. 1 Player and Currently Ranked No. 16 in the World

NEW YORK, NY and BEIJING--(Marketwire - September 28, 2009) - IMG Worldwide, the premier sports, entertainment and media company, announced today that it had signed Li Na, Asia and China's No. 1 player, as a client. Na, 27, reached the quarter finals in the just concluded U.S. Open Tennis tournament in New York. In previous U.S. Open campaigns Na twice reached the fourth round.

Li Na, a native of Wuhan, Hubei, China, started playing tennis when she was nine and in 1998 won the prestigious Asian Youth Cup. She began her professional career in 1999, and in 2006 became the first Chinese player to reach the Top 30 and then the Top 20. In the same year at Wimbledon, she became the first Chinese woman to reach a Grand Slam singles quarter final. She attained her highest world ranking of No. 16 in 2007.

"We are very pleased to have Li Na as an IMG client," said Max Eisenbud, IMG senior vice president who will manage Li Na. "She has been one of the most successful players in China's history and in 2009 became Asia and China's No. 1 player with a world ranking of No. 18. She has been largely hailed as being instrumental in advancing the sport within China," Mr. Eisenbud said.

Fernando Soler, Head of Global IMG Tennis, added, "Li Na is a very talented athlete with tremendous potential, we are thrilled she has chosen IMG to represent her. Her signing further demonstrates IMG's commitment in China and our belief that Asia is maybe one of the dramatic growth areas for the next generation of tennis superstars who will be able to compete for the world's biggest championships."

Between 1999 and 2004, Li Na won 20 singles titles: 19 ITF events and one -- the first ever WTA Tour singles title by a Chinese woman in Guangzhou. In January 2008, she won her second WTA Tour title. She has also enjoyed success as a doubles player with two WTA Tour doubles titles.

One of the highlights of her career came last year, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where she reached the semifinals by beating Svetlana Kuznetsova and Venus Willams.

IMG is the leading client management company in tennis. IMG represents some of the world's top men and women tennis players. The company's roster of top tennis clients includes many of today's superstars: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams and James Blake. In addition, IMG owns, manages or represents many of the world's leading tournaments including Sony Ericsson Open, Australian Open, Chennai Open and Wimbledon, among many others.

About IMG Sports & Entertainment

Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment's diverse businesses include: product and brand licensing; consulting services; event ownership and management; collegiate marketing, media and licensing; fashion events and models representation; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world's largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year. More information is available at

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