Li easily reaches third round

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iol spt may31 Li REUTERS Defending champion Li Na of China reached the French Open third round with an easy 6-0, 6-2 win over France's Stephanie Foretz Gacon.

Paris – Defending champion Li Na of China reached the French Open third round on Thursday with an easy 6-0, 6-2 win over France's Stephanie Foretz Gacon.

Li, 30, the seventh seed and Asia's first and only Grand Slam singles winner, took the hometown crowd out of the match by immediately breaking Foretz Gacon in the first game with aggressive baseline play.

The second break came courtesy of a double fault by the French woman, ranked 86th in the world.

Li, who had never lost before the third round in any of her previous five appearances at the French Open, scored the third break with a backhand crosscourt winner before comfortably serving out the first set.

In the second set, the 31-year-old Foretz Gacon, making her 14th consecutive appearance at Roland Garros, avoided total humiliation by breaking Li once but the Chinese star closed out the match when her opponent hit a long return.

It was all over in 52 minutes.

Li will have an American opponent in the last 32 with Christina

McHale due to face compatriot Lauren Davis later in the day.

Her Chinese comptriot Peng Shuai, the world number 30, will face Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain for a place in the final 32.

In the other Asian singles match of the day, Japan's Ayumi Morita will have the daunting task of taking on Russian second seed Maria Sharapova, who is seeking to lift the only major trophy she has never won. – Sapa-AFP


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