Disappointed Chinese tennis fans flooded the country's top Twitter-style microblog site with 11 million messages Tuesday as they grappled with defending champion Li Na's shock French Open defeat.
Reactions ranged from sympathy to contempt after the combustible Li succumbed to a spectacular meltdownagainst little-known Kazakh qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova, ranked 142, in the fourth round.
"What's wrong with Li Na? It must be because she did not thank her mother country last time," posted one user of Sina Weibo, China's leading microblog site.
Another blamed Li's "mood swings" for her defeat, saying they were the 30-year-old world number seven's "major weakness", after she imploded in the second set and never recovered.
Li's 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 loss came a year after her victory at Roland Garros made her an overnight sensation as Asia's first grand slam singles champion, prompting tributes including a bronze statue in her home city of Wuhan.
But the feisty, tattooed star has not managed another win since. After her defeat, she snapped at media in Paris.
"I lost one match so don't try to put me down," said Li. "This is tennis. I will try to find the reason why I lost."
Many bloggers were forgiving of the fallen champion, who was attempting to be the first French Open women's champion to defend the title since Justine Henin in 2007.
"Who can be champion forever?" asked one, while another compared Li to Serena Williams -- who went out inthe first round -- and advised her to "take a rest and keep fighting".
Li's success has been credited with boosting tennis in China, considered a key market for the sport. In January, she exited the Australian Open in floods of tears after being beaten by Kim Clijsters.
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