PARIS: China's Li Na crashed out of the French Open on Thursday losing 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States in a second round tie badly disrupted by rain.
It was the first time the 2011 champion had gone out at such an early stage of the tournament in seven appearances and wrecked her hopes of a second straight Grand Slam final appearance after Australia in January.
As she did in the first round against Anabel Medina Garrigues, sixth-seeded Li got off to a strong start winning the first four games before the stocky American rallied to win the next four.
Mattek-Sands then promptly undid all her hard work with a poor service game at 5-5 and Li took full advantage to take the opening set.
With dark clouds hovering over Court 1, Mattek-Sands broke early in the second set to lead 4-1 before the rain came down to suspend play for one hour 45 minutes.
They made a brief reappearance for 10 minutes during which Li pulled back to 4-3 with her serve to come before they were sent scurrying for cover once again as the heavens opened.
Another 90 minutes transpired before further play was possible and on the resumption, Mattek-Sands levelled the set scores by winning the next two games.
That appeared to sap all the confidence out of Li and she meekly surrendered the deciding set as the rain started to fall once again.
In the third round Mattek-Sands will play Argentina's Paula Ormaechea who defeated Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-4, 7-6 (8/6).
Shvedova was the player who ended Li's French Open reign last year with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 upset fourth round win.
He also showed a nerve well beyond his years at crucial times, staving off five straight set points in the second-set tiebreak.
Refreshingly, though, Kyrgios spoke of how much work lay ahead of him.
Asked why fewer players seemed to be breaking onto the tour at his age, he said: "I mean, to win a grand slam you have to possibly play best of five sets every match.
"So, yeah, I've still got a long way to go physically, I think.
"I'm obviously continuing to work on that every day.
"I guess it's obviously a lot of pressure as well. I was feeling that."
The 2013 junior Australian Open champion has slashed his ranking by almost 600 spots since the start of 2013 and more than 1000 in the past year.
He's chosen to base himself in the secondary locker room this week to avoid being star-struck by the likes of his idols Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and he still plans to play in the junior event.
His win followed opening-day losses by Lleyton Hewitt, Marinko Matosevic and James Duckworth on Sunday.
Bernard Tomic, Samantha Stosur and Ashleigh Barty open their campaigns on Tuesday.