Li Na, Kim Clijsters split with coaches


Two big stars of women’s tennis have ended cooperation with their coaches – world No.5 Li Na with Michael Mortensen who coached her since April this year, and world No.9 Kim Clijsters with her long-time coach Wim Frissette.

The main reason Li fired Danish coach Mortensen is that she felt he was giving her false encouragement and confidence.

He tells me everything is perfect, everything is fantastic. I say, ‘Yes, everything is fantastic, but I always lose first round.’ I mean, this is not fantastic. I think we need to change something. I think maybe the team or coach just try to give me confidence, but I don’t think I get [it].

The start of Li’s cooperation with Mortensen was fruitful, including her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, but the Chinese has since won more than one match at only one tournament.

As for Clijsters, the Belgian has replaced coach Wim Frissette with Carl Maes. Frissette was her coach from 1995 to 2002 and joined her team again earlier this season.

Clijsters is still enjoying her time off the Tour. The last tournament she played was the Rogers Cup (source: Beyond the Baseline, photos: © Neal Trousdale)


  1. Sorry for the coaches, but I think they’re good moves for the players. Clijsters is showing she’s not done with tennis yet and Li is out to prove that she’s a worthy Grand Slam champ.

  2. I hope CLijsters and Li Na can bounce back into form that made CLijsters win 2 consecutive U.S opens and one Australian Open this year and the form that saw Li reach the final of Aussie Open and win French Open….

    Li Na has a great game and is great to watch when her game is on… But where I feel she lacks is variation in shots (especially in her loss to Lisciki at Wimby this year) and mental toughness… She will have to be mentally very strong if she wants to be a contender at majors… I hope she can find that mental strength…

    Hope to see her back to winning ways…

  3. I respect Li Na and her decision, but seriously did she really think all relationships like the one with her coach was going to be all smooth sailing? one bad patch in the year and it’s goodbye to the old, hello to the new? i don’t think this is a good move on the player’s part. All they want is titles, grandslams, etc…they refuse to go through any rough patches, that’s how you grow as a player!


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