May 27, 2014 / 11:22 AM / 3 years ago

RPT-Tennis-Australian Open champion Li knocked out in Paris first round

PARIS, May 27 (Reuters) - Australian Open champion Li Na of China was knocked out of the French Open in the first round when she suffered a 7-5 3-6 6-1 defeat against France’s Kristina Mladenovic on Tuesday.

Second seed Li, who won at Roland Garros in 2011, never hit her stride on court Suzanne Lenglen on another chilly day in Paris, following men’s Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka to the Roland Garros exit door.

World number 103 Mladenovic, who won the juniors’ title in Paris in 2009, will next face American Alison Riske.

Once dubbed the next big thing of French women’s tennis, Mladenovic saved two set points in the opener, lost focus in the second but stepped up a gear again in the decider to wrap it up on her second match point.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Robert Woodward

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