Li bounced from U.S. OpenNEW YORK - The last of the reigning women’s grand slam champions was shown the door at the U.S. Open on Tuesday when error-prone French Open winner Li Na succumbed to unseeded Romanian teenager Simona Halep 6-2 7-5.
Li sprayed the ball long and wide throughout the one-hour, 34-minute first-round encounter, committing 54 unforced errors on a sun-drenched day at Flushing Meadows. The 29-year-old called her hard court breakdown “a terrible feeling.”
“Before the match, [I] talked to my coach,” she said. “I said I didn’t have good timing to hit the ball. He tells me everything is perfect, everything is fantastic.
“I say, ‘Yes, everything is fantastic, but I always lose first round.’ I mean, this is not fantastic. We need to change something.”
Last year’s U.S. Open winner and current Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters did not defend her title because of injury, while Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova was beaten Monday.
Halep, who played with an ankle injury she suffered in Toronto earlier this month, called the win “unbelievable.”