- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- Sen. Claire McCaskill to tackle sex assault at college next
- Judge’s order preserves NSA surveillance records
- Refurbished Pollock masterpiece goes on display
- Iditarod becomes mad dash for Nome
- ‘Burger King baby’ now seeks birth mom on Facebook
- Study: 2 percent of Americans have new hips, knees
- Friend: Pistorius shot gun out car without warning
- States wrestle with developing, restricting drones
- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
Li Na’s coach helping tennis game _ and marriage
Last August, the 30-year-old Chinese star hired Rodriguez, who coached Justine Henin to seven Grand Slam titles, after the conflicts with her previous coach _ husband Jiang Shan _ became too much to bear.
“The funny thing is, I think two years ago in China, someone said I was divorced,” Li said Tuesday after beating Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals of the Australian Open against Maria Sharapova. “Because they were thinking, we’re always shouting, maybe we’re divorced.”
“It’s just being coach and husband is _ how you say _ tough to find a balance!” she added.
Li hired Rodriguez after disappointing early-round losses at Wimbledon and the London Olympics. He joined her midweek at a tournament in Cincinnati _ they had never even met before _ and she captured the title, her first since her breakthrough Grand Slam win at Roland Garros in 2011.
At one point during the second set against Radwanska, Li lost her service toss in the sun and batted the ball five rows deep into the crowd. Rather than let the mishit unnerve her, however, she calmly made her second serve and put away a deft backhand volley to win the point.
When asked later what happened with that very wayward serve, she quipped: “I want to have good communication with the fans.”
Then she said to her coach, “Carlos, make sure we practice on serve.”
Two years ago, on her way to becoming the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, Li was pure entertainment in her news conferences, joking about her husband’s snoring and admitting she forget her own wedding anniversary.
After her win at the French Open, however, things changed. She began to put more pressure on herself at the Grand Slams _ and didn’t make a quarterfinal at six consecutive major tournaments. At last year’s Australian Open, she left in tears after wasting four match points in the fourth round against Kim Clijsters.
Now the humor is back. Li related the difficulties she had when she started training with Rodriguez at the Spaniard’s tennis academy in Beijing. After three days of six-hour workouts, she called her husband in distress.
“Carlos is crazy,” she told him.
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CPAC 2014: Despite Ben Carson's speech, gay marriage mostly took a back seat at CPAC
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt 'Boss Hogg' town from map
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again