China’s Li Na crashed out of the French Open today losing 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States in a second round tie badly disrupted by rain.
It was the first time the 2011 champion had gone out at such an early stage of the tournament in seven appearances and wrecked her hopes of a second straight Grand Slam final appearance after Australia in January.
As she did in the first round against Anabel Medina Garrigues, sixth-seeded Li got off to a strong start winning the first four games before the stocky American rallied to win the next four.
Mattek-Sands then promptly undid all her hard work with a poor service game at 5-5 and Li took full advantage to take the opening set.
With dark clouds hovering over Court 1, Mattek-Sands broke early in the second set to lead 4-1 before the rain came down to suspend play for one hour 45 minutes.
They made a brief reappearance for 10 minutes during which Li pulled back to 4-3 with her serve to come before they were sent scurrying for cover once again as the heavens opened.
Another 90 minutes transpired before further play was possible and on the resumption, Mattek-Sands levelled the set scores by winning the next two games.
That appeared to sap all the confidence out of Li and she meekly surrendered the deciding set as the rain started to fall once again.