Tennis - China's Li Na, the world's fifth ranked player, has dismissed stories that she is not working with Belgian coach Carlos Rodriguez anymore after he as not seen at the WTA Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart where Li Na reached the finals and lost to Maria Sharapova.
Li Na has been working with Rodriguez, the former coach of Justine Henin, since last August and has seen an upsurge in her results and her confidence.
Speaking to the media ahead of the WTA Mutua Madrid Open which beings today, Li Na commented, "I have been feeling pretty good from beginning of the year. He didn’t come with me in Stuttgart, so when I was here, so many people asked me; are you still working with Carlos? And I said, Of course. I was so happy he could come onto my team to coach me.
“I think for me he’s not only the tennis coach. I think after I was working with him I feel much stronger in my mind and also much stronger on the court. I trust him a lot. He was not in Stuttgart, but we have contact by email, text message, so he knew exactly what I did on the court. After Stuttgart we had a lot email contacts to prepare what we should do here."
Li Na is seeded fifth in Madrid where all the top 20 players in the world are gathered for the event.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.