Coach Carlos Rodriguez says fifth-ranked Li Na has to take more risks if she is to contend with the top three. Rodriguez, who once coached No. 1 Justine Henin, has been coaching Li for one year.
Li reached the final of the 2013 Australian Open, but the former French Open champion lost in the second round of Roland Garros and fell in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. She has won two titles and reached three finals under Rodriguez’s watch. Li is defending final-round points at next week’s Roger’s Cup in Canada and the championship points in Cincinnati the following week.
“She has to be the person to put on pressure and try to take an extra risk to go to the net and win the matches,” Rodriguez told Xinhua. “She is in-between and not that far from the top three. But to make this last step, she has to take responsibility and risk more.”
Rodriguez also implied that having a candid personality like Li does is helpful.
“Why does everybody take the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova as icons? Because they have something extra, the flavor of charisma,” he said. If you have a strong personality, you are ready to take the responsibility and decisions by yourself in a very difficult or stressful moment.”