The 30-year-old Chinese player, who is currently ranked nine in the world, and who was beaten in the final of last year’s Australian Open by Kim Clijsters, edged past defending champion, Francesca Schiavone, in the Paris final 12 months ago.
Li Na, who was seeded sixth for last year’s tournament, beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Silvia Soler Espinosa, Sorana Cirstea, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, and Maria Sharapova, on her way to the final.
She has slipped down the rankings in 2012, after reaching a peak of four in the world, and admits she has found it tough to adapt to being a Grand Slam champion. However, tennis fans interested in French Open 2012 betting would be wise to keep an eye on the Chinese star.
She said: "After Roland Garros, my life was totally shaken up. I experienced so many things that had never happened to me before […] I was up to my neck in requests. I even thought at one point that maybe I should just retire. I just couldn't focus out on court."
After struggling at Wimbledon, the US Open and in Beijing, Li Na took a break from the game but she insists that she is now refreshed and ready to defend her French Open title, when the tournament gets underway on Sunday 27th May.
Despite being seeded three at Wimbledon in 2011, Li Na was knocked out in the second round by Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, and fell at the first hurdle at Flushing Meadows, when she was beaten by Simona Halep, of Romania.
Li Na is an 18/1 pick for a victory at the French Open, according to the best tennis betting tips. Serena Williams is the current favourite.