• Film based on Li Na's autobiography to be released in 2016
  • Director Peter Ho-Sun Chan also plans to distribute movie

Li Na, the only Asian tennis player to have won a Grand Slam singles championship, is helping turn her autobiography into a feature film.

The project, which will start production in the second half of the year and is scheduled for release in 2016, will be directed by Chinese filmmaker Peter Ho-Sun Chan, their management company WME-IMG said in an e-mailed statement. It didn’t disclose financial details.

Li became a global star and the second-highest paid female athlete in the world after she won the 2011 French Open title. She also won the 2014 Australian Open and rose to a career-high No. 2 in women’s tennis before she suddenly departed the game in September because of chronic knee injuries.

Li, who frequently clashed with the Chinese tennis federation over issues including prize money, put the sport on the map in her home country, where tennis participation has doubled in the past six years. In 2012, she was featured on the cover of Time as one of the most influential people in the world.

The 33-year-old, who is expecting her first child with her husband Jiang Shan later this year, will be a consultant on the project.

Chan has directed 17 projects, including the critically acclaimed 2011 martial arts movie Dragon (Wu Xia). Chan’s distribution company, We Distribution, is handling international sales for the movie during the Cannes Film Festival in France, which ends May 24.


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