Carlos tries very hard [to stop me fighting against myself]
World No.6 Li Na has her sights set on the top three after strolling into the fourth round of the Australian Open
The Chinese No.1 has yet to drop a set in her opening three matches in Melbourne, beating world No.113 Sesil Karatanthceva, No.58 Olga Govortsova and No.29 Sorana Cirstea to reach the last 16. Li, who began working with Justine Henin’s former coach Carlos Rodriguez last August, credits her coach with relaxing her on court over the last few months.
“You know, I always try to play my game on the court,” said Li. “But sometimes I was fighting against myself. I always waste a lot of energy on the court.
“Carlos tries very hard [to stop me fighting against myself]. I think I am doing a good job. I mean, at least not like before when maybe eight out of ten times I have the time for fighting against myself. Now I try to relax on the court or off the court.“
Li, who opened up the season with victory at the Shenzhen Open in China, reached a career-high of No.4 in 2011 and she’s hoping she can go one better in 2013. “Well, I really want, of course I will try as hard as I can, I really want to be top 3,” she said. “This is the goal for the whole team, you know. I know it's tough, but if you didn't have a goal maybe you just feel like, ‘oh, No.6 also is pretty good, I don't even have to work’. But I still try to fight on the court to push me.
“You know, these top five players, they have had very good results for all of last year, so I wish I can be one of them,” added the 30-year-old.
Next up for Li is German Julia Goerges, who saw off another Chinese player Jie Zheng in the previous round.