LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) - China’s Li Na snapped out of a mid-match meltdown to beat in-form Romanian Simona Halep and reach the third round of Wimbledon on Thursday.
The 31-year-old former French Open champion went through the motions as she surrendered the second set meekly but recovered to win a curious match 6-2 1-6 6-0 on a muggy Court Three.
Halep, who had won 11 consecutive matches coming into Wimbledon, needed an injury time-out for treatment on her back at the end of the first set and the break seemed to rattle Li who committed a rash of errors in a woeful second set.
With coach Carlos Rodriguez watching on sternly, Li buckled down again and streaked ahead in the decider thanks to some heavy groundstrokes.
The sixth seed, whose best run at Wimbledon was the quarter-finals in 2006 and 2010, will face either Germany’s Annika Beck or Czech Klara Zakopalova in the third round. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)