Li's woes worsen in Wimbledon wipeout

Robin Millard
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China's Li Na

China's Li Na plays a shot during the loss in her second round women's singles match against Romania's Sorana Cirstea on day three of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London. Li's Grand Slam slump worsened as she tumbled out of the Wimbledon second round with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat

Li Na's Grand Slam slump worsened as she tumbled out of the Wimbledon second round on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

Elsewhere compatriot Peng Shuai piled on the misery for Japan by downing Ayumi Morita as Tatsuma Ito and veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm also went crashing out.

Chinese number one Li, the 11th seed, became the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam after lifting the 2011 French Open title.

But since then, she has failed to get past the fourth round of any of the big four tournaments.

"She played unbelievable. She hit the ball so deep and that's why I had a lot of mistakes. And she also had a pretty good serve. She got more free points than me," Li told AFP.

"I don't think I played so bad. I still had chances in the second set, a lot of break points but I didn't hold. This was a big mistake.

"I need three days to recover and think about what I should do."

Peng, the 30th seed, beat Morita 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 in the all-Asian second round clash.

She next faces Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, who knocked out Australian fifth seed Sam Stosur, the reigning US Open champion, for a place in the last 16.

Date-Krumm, comfortably the oldest player at Wimbledon at 41, vowed to do everything in her power to return next year after losing in the first round.

The Japanese number one -- who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1996 before taking 12 years out of the sport -- lost 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 to Ukraine's world number 66 Kateryna Bondarenko.

She said her doctors advised her not to play due to a left calf injury sustained at the French Open, but over-ruled them as Wimbledon holds special memories.

"Three days ago I was almost not playing here," she told AFP.

"The doctor said don't play. And the physio also said don't play. It's too much risk, especially my age.

"But Wimbledon is my favourite tournament. And then also I don't know how many years I can play. I don't know next year or two years later. Every year is almost the last year for me.

"I don't want to give up, so I took the risk."

Ito was knocked out in the men's first round by Poland's Lukasz Kubot in a match that took just minutes to complete.

The pair were rained off Tuesday at 30-30 with Kubot 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 5-3 up and the higher-ranked Pole quickly completed victory over the Japanese number three.

Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei beat France's Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-4, 6-1 to set up a potential third round clash with women's world number one Maria Sharapova.

The Russian top seed and French Open champion was 7-6 (7/3), 3-1 up on Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova, a 2010 Wimbledon semi-finalist, when play was abandoned Wednesday.

In the men's doubles first round, seventh-seeded Indian pairing Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna beat Marcel Felder of Uruguay and Tunisia's Malek Jaziri 6-0, 7-6 (7/1), 6-2.

The Indian pair are at the centre of a bitter row embroiling Indian tennis over the doubles pairings for the London 2012 Olympics.

They both refused to play with the higher-ranked Leander Paes for a range of personal and professional reasons.

"Things couldn't have got uglier for us in Indian tennis the last week," Bhupathi said.

"Everyone has their opinion. Everyone probably stands by it.

"Maybe after the Olympics there is something to be done. We're just glad this whole thing is behind us."

Elsewhere, in the men's doubles, Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and his Dutch partner Jean-Julien Rojer, the eighth seeds, booked their place in the second round.

Treat Conrad Huey of the Philippines and his British partner Dominic Inglot were knocked out.