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Defending champion Li Na started her French Open title defence in style, as she put in an authoritative performance against 21-year old Romanian Sorana Cirstea on Court Philippe Chatrier. The Chinese no.1, who hasn't won a title since her triumph here at Roland Garros last year, hasn't had a great season thus far and will look to change that with another magical run at the French Open. Li, who hinted at a return to form with a run to the final at the Italian Open a couple of weeks ago, needed less than an hour to beat Cirstea, 6-2, 6-1.
The young Romanian had a nervous start as the unforced errors flowed steadily from her racquet. Li Na didn't waste the opportunity and broke Cirstea's serve twice to quickly move to a 4-0 lead in the first set. In the 6th game, Cirstea had a couple of opportunities to break Li's serve, but the Chinese sent down some big forehand winners to deny the Romanian. Li took the set 6-2 in just 28 minutes.
The second set mirrored the first as Li yet again went up a double break to take a 4-0 lead. Cirstea sent down as many as 25 unforced errors, which certainly didn't help her cause against a player of Li Na's calibre. In the seventh game of the set, the Romanian, serving to stay in the match, produced yet another poor service game as Li wrapped up the match with ease.
The match was as one-sided as the scoreline suggests and after watching world no.1 Victoria Azarenka go through a mind-bender earlier in the day, Li would be delighted to have got on and off as easily as she did.
Li's compatriot, the no.31 seed Zheng Jie, was also in action, and eased past Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-4. Jie will now face Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in her 2nd round match. Wozniak beat her compatriot Heidi El Tabakh, 7-5, 6-2 yesterday.
File Photograph Copyright: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
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