30-year-old Li Na, the first Chinese tennis player to win a Grand Slam title, is married to Jiang Shan. Jiang met Li when they both played on the Hubei provincial team in China in 1995. They married in 2006.
Jiang Shan gave up his aspiration of becoming a professional player and started to coach Li in 2004.
Compared to her famous tennis player wife, Jiang Shan is a low profile man and prefers to stay anonymous. He is notoriously shy and rarely shows affection in public. But his latest declaration moved his wife to tears. Jiang said to Li in a video:
“Every couple meets and stays together for a reason. Although I rarely say it, it’s my destiny to be with you.”
Li acknowledged her husband’s significant contribution in her development as a tennis professional on the WTA Tour. But she can be strong tempered some times, to the point that she has told him to leave the stand, because he was muttering too much advice through a match. The good-natured Jiang, on his part, nods silently, and motivates her for the next match. The 32-year-old has served as a shock absorber for Li’s notoriously ferocious temper. Li once said:
“No matter whether Jiang is a good coach or not, he knows me best… We don’t need words, a gesture or look says it all.”
After her first Grand Slam final appearance at the Australian Open last year, Li said to Jiang, in front of the media and the packed Rod Lavor Arena:
“Fat or skinny, handsome or ugly. I will always follow you and always love you.”
Last August, the Chinese star hired Rodriguez, who coached Justine Henin to seven Grand Slam titles, after the conflicts with her previous coach, her husband, became too much to bear.
“It’s just being coach and husband is, how you say, tough to find a balance!” she added.
The famous tennis player has tattooed declarations of her adoration of her husband, a rose and a heart above her left breast and a butterfly on her lower back. Li said the rose-and-heart tattoo represents her love for her husband.
Li Is currently the top-ranked Chinese player in the world. She defeated Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open on Thursday.