Li comes up short between the showers at Roland Garros

A disconsolate Li Na is headed for defeat in her second round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Paris.

Story highlights

  • China's Li Na beaten in rain-hit match at French Open
  • She loses in three sets to unseeded American Bethanie Mattek-Sands
  • Li won French Open title in 2011
  • Novak Djokovic eases into men's third round

Li Na's hopes of a second successive grand slam final appearance were washed away between the showers at Roland Garros Thursday -- losing her second round match to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Li, the 2011 French Open champion, won the first four games of the match, but could not prevent Mattek-Sands closing out a 5-7 6-3 6-2 victory on Court One.

The sixth seed did take the opening set despite a comeback by her stocky opponent, but fell 4-1 down in the second before the first bout of rain.

The pair returned one hour 45 minutes later and in a short spell of action, Li retrieved the break of service to trail 4-3.

Read: Secrets of the French Open champions

When they returned after another lengthy break of 90 minutes, Mattek-Sands took the next two games to level the match and romped through the decider.

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Li, beaten by Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Australian Open, refused to use the weather delays as an excuse.

"Lose is lose, I cannot find another thing. The weather didn't change anything -- for both of us it was the same," she told gathered reporters.

Mattek-Sands will next play Argentina's Paula Ormaechea for a place in the last 16. Ormaechea beat Yaroslav Shvedova of Kazakstan 6-4 7-6.

Shvedova beat Li in the fourth round of the 2012 French Open as the Chinese star made her title defense, but was unable to repeat that form.

Third seed Azarenka continued her impressive progress in search of a second straight grand slam title with a 6-4 6-3 win over Annika Beck of Germany.

Second seed and defending champion Maria Sharapova played her second round match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada later Thursday and was on the brink of victory, leading 6-2 and 4-2 in the second set when rain intervened again to end proceedings.

She will return Friday to complete the task, while the same fate befell the men's defending champion Rafael Nadal, who did not even get on court for his second round encounter with Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

Top seed Novak Djokovic came onto court four hours late to play Argentina's Guido Pella and the light drizzle persisted, but the Serbian had enough time to finish the task, winning 6-2 6-0 6-2. He will play Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the last 16.

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