Li Na not to seek a foreign coach
Updated: 2012-04-10 09:30
BEIJING - Chinese tennis star Li Na said on Monday that she is satisfied with the team she has in place and has no intention of hiring a foreign coach to replace his husband - Jiang Shan.
"I don't know why the media are so interested in this issue," Li replied when asked if she plans to hire a foreign coach ahead of the London Olympics.
"Maybe you are not confident in Jiang and my current team, but up to now, I haven't had any intention of recruiting a foreign coach. And I hope the media won't ask about it again," added the hot-tempered Wuhan native.
Jiang, who was formerly a tennis player, led Li to the Australian Open final at the beginning of last year, before Denmark Fed Cup captain Michael Mortensen took over and helped her win the French Open. Li's partnership with Mortensen concluded after the U.S. Open, and Jiang was reinstated.
Jiang Shan, husband and coach of Li Na, claps during her women's singles match against Kim Clijsters of Belgium at the 2012 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.[Photo/Agencies]
After becoming the first Asian Grand Slam winner at Roland Garros, Li struggled during the rest of 2011, but made the final 16 at the Australian Open this January.
Li, who returned last week to China after the WTA Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, where she lost to Russian Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 in the quarterfinals, attended a promotional event for Olympic partner Visa on Monday.
Li said she is satisfied with her form this season.
"Compared with reaching the final at the Australian Open last year, people may feel a little bit disappointed about my result this year," Li said. "But I think my form is OK right now and I have no regrets so far."
As 2012 is an Olympic year, Li has adjusted her schedule for the world's premier sporting event.
"After the French Open (May 27 - Jun 10), I won't play any matches until Wimbledon (June 25-July 8)," said Li.
"After Wimbledon, I will go back to China for two days and then see my doctor in Germany. Then, I will go to London one week before the Olympics to adjust to the grass court."
The London Games, which will take place from July 27 to August 13, will be Li's third Olympics. She is hoping to do better than in Beijing in 2008, where she finished fourth.
"It might be my last Olympic Games, so I don't want to have any regrets," said Li.
As one of China's most renowned athletes, Li has also been named as a member of Team Visa London.
Together with more than 50 of the world's elite athletes, Li will share her stories through the company's Olympic-themed marketing campaign, which it launched in China on Monday.
Through May 18, two winners will be selected every week from Chinese Visa cardholders who conduct cross-border payment transactions via Visa's network. The prize is a trip to London during the Game, which will be held from July 27 to Aug 12.