Li Naâ€™s quest to defend her French Open title of a year ago ended with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 loss to qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the fourth round while Maria Sharapova dragged to three sets at the French Open in Paris on Monday.
Shvedova, known as a doubles specialist who won both the 2010 Wimbledon and US Open paired with American Vania King, became only the ninth qualifier to advance to the Roland Garros quarterfinals. The Kazakh made the French Open singles quarterfinals in 2010.
When asked about the loss Li said, â€œI have to find the reason why I lose the match.Â I have to try working hard next day and even come working hard next week.
â€œI will find the why.Â I will find out.Â But not.. not in today.Â Otherwise for sure I can win the match.
â€œOn the court, I canâ€™t find why.Â I couldnâ€™t put the ball back on the court.â€
Li made 41 unforced errors in cool and windy court conditions.
“Itâ€™s the ..for now the most incredible win, I think, for me,” Shvedova said.Â “I always have nice matches against top players, because itâ€™s easier, as I said, because I have no pressure, and I always come to beat them.Â I donâ€™t need to defend something like if I play with lower ranked players.
â€œI was just fighting every ball, and I was trying to focus how to go and focus on what I need to do,â€ Shvedova said about playing the third set.Â â€œAnd, believe me, I was thinking a lotÂ it was coming with the thought about some girls losing here from 5-1 and 5-2.Â I was like, no, no, no, I have to focus.Â I have to fight, fight, fight, fight.â€
For Shvedova itâ€™s been two years since she last made the quarterfinals of the French Open. She spoke about the road back.
â€œAfter I did the quarters here in 2010, I had not success year of the singles.Â But then I was focusing a lot on doubles, because then we qualified with Vania for Championships.
â€œIn the beginning of 2011 and after my first match, I had injury and I had surgery right after Australia.Â After surgery I was recovering very long and I come back and my knee was bothering me for half year.
â€œAnd then my coach left, and I had some tough periods mentally, as well, and I was very down and lonely.Â Playing again doubles and couldnâ€™t like lost all my singles points.
â€œSince like September I got a new coach, and he helped me out a lot.Â For this year we set a goal to get my ranking back, and I was working hard.Â I had a great team around me and working with psychologist and everything, fitness coaches, and I am very thankful to my team.Â Itâ€™s not only my work, itâ€™s teamwork.â€
Shvedova, who is ranked 142 in singles will face Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals.
It took World No. 2 Maria Sharapova three hours and 11 minutes to knock out world No. 44 Klara Zakopalova 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 to keep her quest alive for the career Grand Slam.
â€œMy opponent I thought played extremely well, the best that sheâ€™s played against me,â€ said the Russian of her Czech competitor.Â â€œI have played her a few times already.â€
â€œYou know, sheâ€™s dangerous.Â She can play well, you know, because, well, first of all, sheâ€™s had very good wins, so sheâ€™s confident.Â On top of that, when she hits the ball, I think some days she goes out there and goes for it, and it seems like everything just goes in and stays so low over the net.
â€œI mean, a great example is when I was up in that first match point, I mean, she was just drilling the ball.Â Iâ€™m sure some other days she goes out and makes mistakes.Â And thatâ€™s probably why she came to this tournament not seeded.Â But sheâ€™s certainly dangerous.
â€œYeah, the conditions were difficult, so it was a good test for me.Â You know, I had chances to finish it in two sets, and I didnâ€™t.Â But I came out strong in the third set, and I guess thatâ€™s, you know, really what matters and nice to be in the quarters again.â€
There were 21 service breaks in the 30 games played in the match.
Sharapova will meet the winner of the Kaia Kanepi- Arantxa Rus match in the quarterfinals.