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Don't look for China's Zheng Jie to fire her husband.
With compatriot Li Na back on track after replacing her husband with new coach Carlos Rodriguez, the 29-year-old Zheng (pictured) received a similar high-profile offer. It came from Maria Sharpova's coach, Thomas Hogstedt, who also once coached Li.
"Thomas helped me find some suitable coaches last year and he advised me to train in Europe during the winter," said Zheng, who is ranked 22nd in the world after reaching a career-best 15th in 2009.
Still, she'll stick with her husband, Zhang Yu.
"Though there are many coaches in professional tennis, few are both good and a good fit. Sometimes, the ability to maintain a long-term cooperation between a player and a coach depends on whether they have compatible personalities," Zheng said at the National Tennis Stadium on Tuesday, one day after she was upset by Spanish qualifier Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino at the China Open. "From an overall perspective, Zhang has helped me a lot. I was outside the top 100 due to ankle surgery, then I had a waist operation, but he has always been able to bring me back. I trust him and I have no plans to change my coach."
There is still the possibility that she could spend the winter in Europe.
"I was struggling," she said. "I know there are a lot of outstanding players in Europe, but I already have to spend almost nine months traveling around for tournaments every year, and there is no time for us to spend with our family and friends. I really want to spend the winter in China. I haven't decided yet."
Zheng reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the third round at Wimbledon and the US Open this year. She said she prefers to enjoy her matches rather than weigh herself down with pressure.
"Every player wants to perform well in Grand Slams, and the competition there is fierce," she said.
"I don't want to press myself too much now, saying I must reach the third or fourth round. I'm trying to keep a peaceful mindset so I can enjoy the game because I feel it can help me to the biggest extent to prolong my career."
The Chengdu native hopes to help young players improve, but said she won't start a coaching career.
"I think I will do something related to tennis in the future, because I have spent so many years on the court since I started as a kid," she said.
"I have gone through different kinds of training systems, and I know which ones are better for players at different levels.
"But I won't choose to be a coach, because being a coach I would still have to travel with the player for seven or eight months a year, just like I do now. Moreover, watching the players playing but not being able to help them on the court would be torture for me."
(China Daily 10/06/2012 page12)