02.13.07

Love and tennis, Chinese style

Posted in Tennis at 9:21 am by Nicole

Li Na has appointed her husband as her tennis coach in an apparent first in the ranks of elite Chinese tennis players, according to AFP. Li is the best singles player ever to come out of the People’s Republic – great to watch and an excellent ball stroker. Loneliness is part and parcel of a game in which you’re on the road eleven months of the year, but the Chinese Tennis Federation doesn’t make it easy for players to have any sort of personal life – in the minds of the powers that be, any outside influence is a distraction. The article linked above makes one small factual error, claiming that Li Na’s husband, Jiang Shan, has no previous coaching experience. In an interview I did with Li Na for the Chinese edition of Sports Illustrated at the U.S. Open in September, she told me that he was a tennis coach at the university where the two of them had studied.

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