Li Na plays with Zhang Shuai at the WTA Wuhan Open tennis tournament in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, on Sept 23, 2018. (Photos: IC)
Principal shooting for a feature film based on the career of tennis star Li Na started in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, The Paper reported on Friday.
Li, Asia's only Grand Slam singles champion, revealed in May 2015 she was working with award-winning Hong Kong film director Peter Chan to produce the movie, which was initially scheduled for a 2016 release.
Over the past four years or so, Chan didn't direct any other films. He devoted himself to the creation of a movie based on the story of China's retired Grand Slam champion.
Chan chose an unknown actress to play Li in the film, and has also had her practice tennis for around two years to make the action as convincing as possible.
The production crew of the film Li Na watches the Wuhan Open tennis tournament in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, on Sept 28, 2018.
According to Chan, the same actress will play Li, who became a household name in China after winning the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open, from her teenage years to her retirement.
In a video interview she forwarded in her Sina Weibo, Li and Chan joked with each other, saying both of them "have retired for four years", while Chan said "I've been improving the script over the past four years".
A short film directed by Chan that was titled Be Yourself, in which Li Na played herself, went viral online in August this year. In the film, Li recalled her experiences with her deceased father.