Li reveals mentality shift


Originally published on: 11/12/13 00:00

The former French Open champion finished the year strongly, reaching the finals of the WTA Championships to break into the world's top three, becoming the highest-ranked Asian player in history.

Li started the year with twin goals of winning a second Grand Slam title and breaking into the world’s top three. Having achieved half of her target, the Chinese No.1 admits her biggest weakness was not on the court, but off it.

To achieve her goals, Li was forced to share her fears and feelings with coach Carlos Rodriguez, something she says does not come naturally to her.

"Maybe it's different, Chinese and Western,” Li said. “I think Western people like to share how they're feeling. I'm not sure about every Chinese, but me, if I feel something, I try to never talk about it.

“I always feel I'm strong enough, that I can fix everything myself. But this is a weakness. A strong person will speak out if they're feeling something, because they know other people can help make them even stronger.

"So at first when I was telling everything to Carlos I was feeling terrible, but now I'm feeling much better, because I opened my mind a little bit and shared my feelings, and we've achieved so much."


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.