Thursday July 3rd, 2014

LONDON -- No. 2 Li Na and coach Carlos Rodriguez have split after two years, SI.com has confirmed.

Max Eisenbud, Li's agent, said the decision was based on Rodriguez's responsibilities at his tennis academy in Beijing. Li will continue to train with Rodriguez when she's in Beijing, but he will not travel with her to tournaments. 

Li, 32, had the most consistent and successful stretch of her career after teaming up with Rodriguez in July 2012. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 and won her second Grand Slam title, the Australian Open in January. 

But Rodriguez's commitment to Li put a strain on his relationship with his academy. Under their coaching agreement, Li was effectively "renting" Rodriguez from the academy, and his sustained absence was no longer tenable. Rodriguez is working with Li to help her find a new coach.

In her autobiography, Li wrote that she hoped Rodriguez would coach her the rest of her career.

“The most important thing about working with him the last one and a half, two years is he didn’t tell me exactly what I should do,” Li said after winning the Australian Open. “He would say, ‘You have to plan for yourself. You have to know what you should do.’”

Li lost in the third round of Wimbledon last week. She was bounced in the first round of the French Open in May.

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