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Some of that communication gap stems from language. Rodriguez hails from Spanish speaking Argentina. He and Li Adidas Neo City Racer Navy Silver
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"I have to help her to put the words on her feelings, which is the most difficult thing for her," Rodriguez said.
She went periods when she could barely win a match, but then find form when no player was safe from her fierce power from either wing.
Azarenka, the No. 1 seed and 2012 Australian Open champion, and sixth seeded Li, the 2011 French Open winner, are experienced big match players. Open champ downs Federer
In an interview this week, Rodriguez said his work with Li has focused on emotional management Adidas Los Angeles Burgundy
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Li Na of China will face off Saturday for the Australian Open title.(Photo: Greg Wood and William Adidas Primeknit Black White Solar Red
After demoting her husband, Jiang Shan, from a coaching role and hiring Rodriguez at Wimbledon last year, she has steadied.
Even so, their emotional states could be a tipping point.
"The problem with Li Na, which is different than Justine, is she doesn't accept" the normal physiological fluctuations in a match, Rodriguez said. "Li fights."
PHOTOS: AUSTRALIAN OPEN WEEK Andy Murray flashes a smile on his way to a 6 4, 6 7 (5 7), 6 3, 6 7 (2 7), 6 2 victory against Roger Federer, sending Murray to the Australian Open final. It was his first victory against Federer in a Grand Slam.
Rodriguez is best known as the taciturn tactician who helped guide Justine Henin, the tightly wound Belgian, to seven Grand Slam titles and the No. 1 ranking.
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Belarus' Azarenka surged to the top of the rankings last year by better controlling her volatile personality, but she has spent the last 24 hours dealing with blowback from a medical timeout taken at a crucial point in Thursday's semifinals.
Another distinction: While Henin was shy and introverted with all but her inner circle, she liked to communicate and wasn't afraid to put her needs first.
Li is much less egocentric and communicative.
namely, minimizing the urge to resist normal mid match letdowns.
speak in English. Some things are inevitably lost in translation.
Since Li became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam final at the 2011 Australian Open and then the first champion later that year at Roland Garros she has been the model of inconsistency.
West, AFP/Getty Images)
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Under the influence of coach Carlos Rodriguez, China's Li has Neo Adidas High Tops doused her sometimes combustible, self doubting tendencies.
MELBOURNE, Australia The Australian Open final Saturday between Victoria Azarenka and Li Na pits two of the sport's best ball strikers in pursuit of their second Grand Slam titles.
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