Li Na suffers early exit at French Open
Updated: 2013-05-31 09:23
Li Na of China is pictured as she serves to Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US during their women's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, May 30, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
Sixth seed Li, who became a flagbearer for Asian tennis in 2011 when she won the French Open, edged the first set but after two lengthy rain breaks her game fell apart.
Mattek-Sands, wearing knee-high black socks, resumed after the second interruption 4-3 ahead in the second set and then reeled off seven games in a row.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US hits a return to Li Na of China during their women's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, May 30, 2013. Mattek-Sands beat Li 5-7 6-3 6-2. [Photo/Agencies]
Li eventually stopped the rot to break serve as Mattek-Sands served for the match at 5-0 and then held her own to reduce the deficit but her revival came too late.
With rain still falling and play stopped on many other courts the 66th-ranked American held her nerve and sealed victory when her opponent netted a forehand.
Li refused to make excuses for her defeat.
"I know for sure that I don't normally lose seven games in a row," she told reporters. "It was very tough conditions, coming back to the court three times.
"But for both players it was the same.
"I should find out what happened and I'll talk to myself, my team to see what happened."
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