PARIS, May 24 (Reuters) - China’s Li Na used her experience to fend off teenage French wildcard Kristina Mladenovic and reach the second round of the French Open on Monday, winning 7-5 6-3 on a baking hot Suzanne Lenglen court.
The 28-year-old Li, who became the first Chinese player to attain a top 10 singles rankings after reaching the Australian Open semi-finals in January, dropped serve twice in the opening set but replied with three breaks of her own.
Mladenovic, rewarded with a main draw spot after winning the girls singles title last year, was bothered by a back strain in the second set but still produced a few scorching winners to keep the home fans interested and Li on her toes.
Li, the 11th seed, went 0-40 down when serving for the match but responded with five straight points to move through.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Miles Evans. To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org