One of the most successful Women’s Singles players of recent years is set for a welcome return to the singles court after a 600-day injury lay off.
Li Xuerui had not played on the world circuit since August 2016 in Rio, until a winning return at the Lingshui China Masters - a BWF Tour 100 event - last month.
Now fans cannot wait to see her back in action in the HSBC BWF World Tour after confirming her entry to the Super 300 YONEX US Open.
Li will be a big draw when she heads to California next month, but it’s the start of a long way back to form for the 2012 Olympic and YONEX All England Champion.
On her comeback she told Xinhua Net "I was so nervous. It's my first match after my comeback. Although I had some matches in our team, I was still unfamiliar with the atmosphere on the court."
"I'm always looking forward to the competition, but my recovery process is relatively tough, because my injury always comes back. I hope to find my rhythm as soon as possible," Li said.
The 27-year-old suffered severe knee injuries to her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral meniscus during the 2016 Olympic Games. She lost to Carolina Marin in the semi-finals in Rio sustaining such injuries that she did not even take to court for the third/fourth play-off v Nozomi Okuhara.
Li did play last year at the Chinese National Games, albeit in the doubles event as she did not believe she had recovered from her injuries enough to play singles.
She won the BWF Tour 100 event, her first competition back in action.
Whilst they have been successful in most other disciplines, China have not won a Women’s Singles title at the All England since 2014, when the now retired Wang Shixian was victorious. Li won it in 2012, defeating fellow retiree Wang Yihan.
Li’s bulging trophy cabinet includes Olympic Gold from the 2012 London Games when she again beat Wang Yihan in the final. She impressively sits 23rd in the list of all-time Superseries title wins amongst all five disciplines of badminton.