Rodriguez focuses on school
Updated: 2011-09-27 07:47
By Tang Zhe (China Daily)
Belgian star Justine Henin's coach, Carlos Rodriguez (right), instructs Chinese children during the WTA Tennis Festival in Beijing on Saturday. [Provided to China Daily]
BEIJING - Carlos Rodriguez won't be coaching Li Na.
The former coach of world No 1 and seven-time Grand Slam winner Justine Henin said he'll focus instead on operating Henin's tennis school in Beijing.
Best known for his tenure with Henin, Rodriguez was considered a potential replacement after Li split with Danish coach Michael Mortensen, who coached her to the French Open title earlier this year.
"Li is a very good player, and she needs a coach who can play the tournaments with her year-round," Rodriguez said at the WTA Tennis Festival in Beijing over the weekend. "But there is no chance between us because I am busy with the tennis school now."
Last February, Henin opened the China branch of her 6th Sense Tennis Academy in Beijing. After the Belgian announced her second retirement due to an elbow injury in January, Rodriguez switched his attention from a busy WTA tournament calendar to the business in China.
Opening training camp for local fans during the WTA Tennis Festival is part of his job to help promote and develop the sport in grassroots.
After treating fans in Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou to a colorful tennis gala over the summer, the 2011 WTA Tennis Festival concluded in Beijing, a week before the China Open, whose main draw list includes Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams, and China's Li.
"This is a very good day, and I saw people enjoying tennis here," said Spanish player Carla Suarez Navarro, who appeared at the tennis gala on Sunday. "It's really important to have one day like this in every country."
Regarding the upcoming China Open, the Spaniard said: "This is a big tournament. There are many excellent players, and all the players play really well. For me, the most important is playing well and making it possible to win a lot of matches."