Published June 25, 2013
LONDON (AFP) – Li Na, the Chinese sixth seed, raced into the second round at Wimbledon with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Michaella Krajicek on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old wasted little time on the Court 12 show court as she demolished her Dutch opponent in 67 minutes.
Li, the 2011 French Open champion, faces either Olga Govortsova of Belarus or Romania's Simona Halep in the second round.
Li broke in the first game and broke again to make it 4-1. The Chinese won the first set when Krajicek misfired twice on a deuce.
Li broke early in the second set and did not look back from there, giving her opponent the runaround on the court, the Dutch right-hander scampering from one side to the other behind the baseline.
Krajicek offered some brief resistance on serve to make it 5-1 in the second set, then had break point twice in the next game on deuces.
But Li eventually won it on her third match point when Krajicek sent a return of serve long.
She signed autographs for Chinese fans who mobbed her on the courtside.
Her joy was in stark contrast to her bitter second round exit to America's Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the French Open.
The sixth seed's Wimbledon best was reaching the 2006 and 2010 quarter-finals, though she tumbled in the second round on her last two All England Club outings.
Krajicek, 24, the sister of 1996 men's Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, has dropped to 575 in the world rankings due to injury problems but gained entry into the draw at the All England Club through her protected ranking of 105.
The 2004 US Open girls' champion was making her first Wimbledon appearance since her first round defeat in 2008.
Meanwhile Li's compatriot Zheng Jie missed the chance of setting up a rematch with Serena Williams when she lost in straight sets to 100-ranked French qualifier Caroline Garcia.
Zheng, the world number 47, lost 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes in a clash on the outside courts.
The Chinese had two break points in the match and failed to take either of them.
Garcia now faces defending champion Williams in the second round, should the world number one see off Luxembourg's Mandy Minella.
In the third round last year, Zheng gave Williams a scare in a thrilling encounter, with the American eventually winning 6-7 (7/5), 6-2, 9-7.
Zheng made the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2008 but since then has failed to get past the third round.