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U.S. Open: Li Na, French Open winner, first-round loser in New York

August 30, 2011 |  4:11 pm

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Li Na, who thrilled her country by becoming the first Chinese woman to reach a major tournament final at the Australian Open last winter and then the first to win a major by taking the French Open title in the spring, was upset Tuesday in the first round of the U.S. Open, losing, 6-2, 7-5, to 53rd-ranked Simona Halep of Romania.

Li, seeded sixth, was rewarded for her breakthrough moments this year by signing $42 million worth of endorsements this summer, but her play has been a letdown.

She lost in the second round at Wimbledon, where she had been seeded third, and has won back-to-back matches only once since winning the French Open.

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-- Diane Pucin, reporting from New York

Photo: Li Na returns a shot during her first-round match against Simona Halep at the U.S. Open on Tuesday. Credit: Nick Laham / Getty Images

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