6. Li Na
According to Time magazine in 2013, Chinese tennis star Li is not only one of the most influential women in sports, but she is also one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
There were 116 million people who won the French Open in 2011. With this victory, she became the first Asian to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. Another 70 million people watched her defeat at the 2014 Australian Open to Dominika Cibulkova.
No other nation on earth can prove to be more permanent than China in supporting its players in international competitions.
Lee is definitely late for a tennis player. She achieved her highest WTA ranking (No. 2) in February 2014, turning 32 in the same month. American tennis star Serena Williams, by contrast, is Lee’s age but won her first Grand Slam in 1999.
As far as Li’s influence is concerned, the popularity of tennis in China is on the rise. The game barely blinked on the radar a few years ago. Now about 15 million people are playing it.