Paris, May 27: Second seed Li Na followed the footstep of Stanislas Wawrinka to crash out of the French Open tennis as she lost to France’s Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round here Tuesday. Paris has turned out to be a less than hospitable to those two winners of this year’s Australian Open. Li’s early exit came less than 24 hours after Wawrinka bowed out to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, reports Xinhua.
Li seemed unsure about her game to commit a total of 37 unforced errors to lose the match. “No matter whom I played today, I would always lose the match,” said the Chinese player. “I lost to myself and it had nothing to do with technique. Something was missing inside myself, I have no idea what it is.”
Mladenovic, the 2009 French Open junior champion who is ranked No. 103, broke Li three times in the first set and twice in the deciding set. Despite bouts of visible and audible frustration in the first two sets, Mladenovic calmed herself down in the third, taking advantage of Li’s downward spiral.
Li hit just five winners to 15 unforced errors in the final set, while Mladenovic cleaned up her game to hit five winners and five unforced errors. Li said she felt ill at ease on clay court despite the fact that she won the title here in 2011.
“When the clay season began, I have not been as confident as seemed to be. From what I felt from inside, I don’t have that much confidence,” she said. Mladenovic next plays American Alison Riske, who defeated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.