Tennis-Former champion Li Na knocked out by Mattek-Sands

PARIS Thu May 30, 2013 4:10pm BST

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PARIS May 30 (Reuters) - China's only grand slam singles champion Li Na was bundled out of the French Open by American Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Thursday, losing a rain-interrupted match 5-7 6-3 6-2.

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.

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. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Tony Jimenez)