Li Na Will ‘Get a Hand’ from Carlos Rodriguez – I Cannot Believe I Just Said That

After flopping hard losing to Daniela Hantuchova in the first round at the Olympics, Li Na announced that she would hire Carlos Rodriguez, Justine Henin’s long time coach, on a trial basis beginning August 16th for the remainder of the 2012 season. He will also travel full time with her.

This is not Rodriguez’s first foray into coaching since Henin retired. When she retired the first time, he worked with Anna Chakvetadze for a few months before the two part ways. He said she didn’t want to work hard enough. He’s not going to be too happy with Li then.

Li, to her credit, has had no shortage of coaching experiments over the past few seasons. First, Thomas Hogstedt left her to coach Maria Sharapova in early 2011. How did Li respond? She defeated Sharapova, and Hogstedt, in the semifinals of Roland Garros on her way to the title under the tutelage of Michael Mortensen, who she fired in late 2011. Li said she didn’t like his ‘mild and gentle’ approach; she wanted someone tougher.

The, uh, interesting dynamic between Li and her sometimes coach, always husband Jiang Shan never failed to amaze in its hilarity. She called him out for snoring in front of thousands at the Australian Open, and is apparently not very good with money. Observe.

Considering his coaching relationship with Henin was, uh, one of ‘interdependence,’ I fail to see how this can be anything but a very large, very comedic failure. First of all, she’s also not one who likes to be told what to do.

Wonder how she feels about a guy from Argentina then?

Henin never made any career decisions without consulting Rodriguez first. Henin shared an emotional bond with Carlos since he was with her from such a young age, and frankly, it became much like a father-daughter relationship. Having one coach for such an extended period means the player doesn’t necessarily need tactical or technical strategy, but only moral support. Li’s strong-willed, Type A personality will clash with Rodriguez’s style. I for one, cannot wait until she calls him out for his first legal WTA on-court coaching consult.

“She’s As Much of a Fairy Princess as I Am” – 2012 Wimbledon Players’ Party

One of Wimbledon’s many glorious traditions is the annual WTA players’ party, which takes place on the Thursday before the tournament begins. There is no tennis to tear apart until Sunday, so we can slam the outfits instead! Presenting: Your Obligatory WTA Fashion Police Blog Post!

Petra Kvitova

The defending champion continues to shine when given the chance. After being thrust into the public eye following her Wimbledon win in 2011, the soft-spoken Czech has embraced her outer sparkle off the court.

Jelena Jankovic

As we know, the only reason why Jelena even bothers to play tennis these days is for extra spending money, clothes and parties. She can’t even do that right anymore.

Venus and Serena Williams

Venus and Serena’s fashion choices over the past decade have sometimes wowed us, and other times, have left us scratching our heads. Both opted for classic options, but the jury’s still out on the hair.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova doing what Maria Sharapova does with commanding presence as always. She wouldn’t look out of place on a Hollywood red carpet. Bonus points for the shoes.

Christina McHale, Alison Riske, Melanie Oudin, Heidi El Tabakh

Fresh out of a Forever 21 catalogue, McHale, Riske, Oudin and El Tabakh opting for the American (or in El Tabakh’s case, Canadian) casual look.

Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka, who also opts for casual looks at these events more often than not (yes, that debacle at Indian Wells excluded), sports a new layered hairdo to go with her trusty black leggings.

Caroline Wozniacki

If you’re experiencing deja vu, don’t fret! I am too. Wozniacki sported a similar off the shoulder black dress and up-do at last year’s players’ party. Stella, get the girl another look, stat.

Li Na

Take me to your leader. China’s first Grand Slam champion rocks the makeup and hair as always, but I do wonder if the dress picks up radio signals. Or at one time sustained alien life.

Ana Ivanovic

Ivanovic, unlike her compatriot Jankovic, never fails to disappoint. Although this picture does. The only negative of this dress was the fringed monstrosity on the bottom that I’ve spared you from seeing. Thank me later.

Agnieszka Radwanska

Radwanska rocking a simple, black floor length gown. Although, if I were her, I’d lose the number of Kuznetsova’s hair dresser.

Elena Vesnina

The Russian knocks it out of the park, and the dress really brings out her eyes. My winner for sure.