French Open / Mattek-Sands Leads Five American Women Winners

By From Our Press Services | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), May 31, 2013 | Go to article overview

French Open / Mattek-Sands Leads Five American Women Winners


From Our Press Services, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


PARIS Former champion Li Na of China became the highest-seeded woman eliminated at the French Open on Thursday, and five American women advanced to the third round.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S. beat sixth-seeded Li 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in a second-round match stopped three times by rain.

Sixth-seeded Li refused to blame the weather delays for the end of her quest to regain the French Open title she won two years ago.

"A loss is a loss," Li said. "The conditions were the same for both players."

"I had to win. I knew she wasn't going to give it to me," Mattek- Sands said.

Li, 31, became the first player from Asia to clinch a Grand Slam singles title in Paris in 2011. Thursday's defeat was her earliest since being knocked out of Wimbledon at the same stage last year. She had made the Australian Open final at the start of the season.

Mattek-Sands, 28, matches her best performance at the French Open of two years ago in reaching the third round.

By beating the sixth-seeded Li to earn her fourth career win in 25 tries against top-10 players, Mattek-Sands helped give the U.S. its largest group of women in the third round at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament since six made it in 2004. The five U.S. women left, out of the 15 in the main draw, are the most this far at any Grand Slam tournament since a half-dozen at Wimbledon in 2005.

"We have a lot of talented, young kids," Mattek-Sands said, then added with a wink and a smile, "Obviously, older kids, too. …

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