Beijing: Chinese French Open tennis champion Li Na is writing a memoir to tell her fans - as the book's working title proclaims - "How to Go West and Win," publisher Penguin said on Friday.
Li, 29, Asia's first Grand Slam winner, will tell fans how she rose to the highest level of the sport, offering tips on "harnessing personal passions to win against the odds," the British publisher said.
"I hope my story can inspire people of all ages," Li said in a statement.
Penguin will co-publish the book in Chinese first in spring 2012 with a Chinese publishing partner -- a first for the company whose business in China up to now has focused on importing English titles and exporting translations.
"This book will not only appeal to tennis fans, but also to people in China striving for success in this changing and dynamic country," Jo Lusby, Penguin China managing director, said over the phone from the Frankfurt Book Fair.
"Li has a very straight-talking unusual personality and is more outgoing than most Chinese athletes and we think this could translate around the world."
Li, now ranked sixth in world tennis, broke away from China's state-run sports system to manage her own career, and keep more of her winnings.
In June, she made history by becoming the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam title at the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris.
Since then, she has not been able to add to her trophy cabinet, crashing out of major tournaments such as Wimbledon and the US Open.
In September, Li told reporters in Beijing that "female players are not as harsh or as tough as male players, they want to take some time to re-adjust themselves after a big victory in a big event."
A few weeks later, in early October, Li had a humiliating first-round exit from the China Open, drawing waves of local criticism.
Still, she had already capped her best season yet, qualifying for the WTA championships in Istanbul, October 25-30, alongside number one seed Caroline Wozniacki and other top players.
"Her book will explain how she did it," said Max Eisenbud, Li's manager at IMG Worldwide, the seller of the book's rights to Penguin.
Penguin plans to publish Li's memoir ahead of the 2012 French Open.
Story first published on: Friday, 14 October 2011 19:52 IST