Li Na: Defending French Open Champion Ousted by Yaroslava Shvedova

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 04:  Na Li of China plays a forehand in her women's singles fourth round match against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan during day 9 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 4, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It hasn't been all downhill for Li Na since she won the French Open last year, but that slope just got infinitely steeper.

The reigning champion is reigning no more as she's officially fallen to the No. 142-ranked player in the world, Yaroslava Shvedova, at Roland Garros. Courtesy of the BBC:

Defending champion Li Na knocked out of French Open by world number 142 Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 2-6 0-6

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 4, 2012

Na wasn't great in the early going of the French Open, but she didn't drop a set until the third round. She took the early lead against Shvedova, but crumbled in the following sets and was actually blanked in the third.

The 30-year-old Chinese star, currently ranked seventh in the world, is going to fall down the rankings pretty quickly with this exit.

The 25-year-old Russian is now the favorite to win
The 25-year-old Russian is now the favorite to winMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

The women's bracket, which was already wide open to begin with, is now without the No. 1 seed and the defending champion.

Maria Sharapova, the No. 2 in this year's bracket, is attempting to secure a career Grand Slam with a win at Roland Garros. She is without question the the favorite going forward despite never reaching the final of this tournament before.

Na, meanwhile, will have to pick herself up and hope to find her form. She's never advanced beyond the quarterfinals of the either Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.