Li Na is the latest inclusion in the list of the top players who have faced an early exit from this year’s French Open. The Chinese star suffered a defeat against the French youngster Kristina Mladenovic in three sets by 5-7, 6-3, 1-6 in her first round match yesterday.
Li had won the Australian Open singles title earlier this year and she was backed by a lot of people to go all the way in this tournament as well, but, let alone going all the way, she couldn’t even cross the first hurdle. It would really have come as a big shock for a lot of tennis fans around the world.
This was the first time in the last 14 years that a player who won the Australian Open got knocked out of the opening round in the French Open. It had happened in 2000 for the last time when Lindsay Davenport was defeated by Dominique Van Roost.
Li was quite honest though while speaking in the post match interview. She admitted that she could only blame herself for this outcome.
The Chinese player said, “It doesn’t matter what your world ranking is, if you make this many mistakes, you are going to lose no matter against whom you are playing.”
“I think I was not able to put as much pressure on her as I needed to. I just let her take the match away from me.”
When asked if one of the reasons behind her defeat was the support that her local opponent was getting from the crowd, Li said, “No, I would not say so. As I have said earlier, I was always going to get beaten today because of the way I played. I committed a lot of errors and I deserved to lose.”
In the second round, Mladenovic would face Alison Riske of USA.