Li Na

• It’s hard to understate coach Carlos Rodriguez’s impact on not only Li‘s tennis but also her personal growth. “Maybe it’s different, Chinese and Western, because I think the Western people, they like to share how they’re feeling now. For myself, if I’m feeling something, I never try to talk to the team. I always block it. I’m always feeling I’m strong enough, I can fix everything.

“But I think this is a weakness. I think the real strong person, if they feel something, for sure, they will speak out, because they find someone who can help them to make even stronger. So that’s why I was feeling terrible every time I talked to Carlos. But now I am feeling much better, because I try to open my mind a little bit to share the feelings.”

Deep Thoughts, by Li Na.

• More psychoanalysis from Li: “I think when I grew up, the [reason] I cannot show how good I am is because when I won a tournament, the coach was so tough. If I make a mistake [in training], for sure she would say, ‘What? You just win one tournament. Are you thinking you can win another one? Why didn’t you train harder?’ I think she always punished me all the time. I didn’t have [confidence] to show how good I am.”

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