ROME: Li Na’s recent decision to appoint Denmark Fed Cup captain Michael Mortensen as her new coach was the right move despite the fact it meant ditching her husband Jiang Shan, the world number six said on Monday.
The Australian Open runner-up endeared herself to the Melbourne crowd in January by declaring she would love her husband-cum-coach even if he was “fat and ugly”.
Three months later, however, the Chinese player decided to start afresh with Mortensen and the pair made a promising start to their tennis alliance when she reached the semi-finals of last week’s Madrid Open.
“I don’t care what other people think. My confidence was low and I felt I had to change my coach,” Li Na said at the Italian Open.
“After Melbourne I didn’t do well and if you don’t do well you don’t have confidence.”
Li Na suffered four straight first-round defeats before making Mortensen her new coach.
“The relationship has been good. We’re communicating well and he’s told me to trust myself,” said the 29-year old.
“I’m not a young player so I know my body and what I can do on the court.
“We are focusing more on the mental side as I feel I need someone to support me.
“I want to be among the top players at the end of a tournament but I never put pressure on myself,” said Li Na who was beaten by Belgian Kim Clijsters in the Australian Open final.
“Melbourne was good but it was just one tournament.
“Of course when you do well it’s not easy because the fans expect you to reach the final every time.
“But I’m learning to concentrate and set my own goals.” — Reuters