With the results 0-6, 6-1, 6-4, the loss to the China player costs Serena her no. 1 ranking.
By dropping the second-round match at the Porsche Grand Prix, Serena will be overtaken by Jelena Jankovic in Monday’s new rankings, the WTA said.
Serena gained the top spot when she beat Jankovic in the U.S. Open final three weeks ago for her ninth Grand Slam title.
Jankovic will play her first match in the tournament today against Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine.
“Obviously, I want to be No. 1 but I am not focusing on that. I am focusing on winning titles and that goes hand in hand (with getting No. 1),” Serena said.Williams was playing her first match since the U.S. Open, getting a first-round bye in Stuttgart.
“I am not worried. It will come again if I win tournaments. I play to win titles and Grand Slams, although obviously the No. 1 is also on my mind.”
“I started making a lot of errors and I just gave it to her,” she said.Li, ranked No. 30, said she was so nervous at the start of the match her hands were cold.
“Maybe I started doubting myself.”
“I didn’t have a chance in the first set,” Li said.Serena's sister, Venus Williams is still in the Stuttgart tournament and watched Serena’s defeat.
“But I looked at the clock and I saw it was only 20 minutes (into the match) so I told myself I could be winning in an hour. I knew I just had to hang in there.”
Li who missed 11 months with a rib fracture last year and right-knee surgery in March said, “I believe I can go into the top 10 if I stay healthy."
(Images via Yahoo! Sport, sonyericssonwtatour.com)