To say this was a strange match would be like describing Ivo Karlovic as being of 'above average height'. Although Serena exploded out of the blocks as we've seen her do so many times, she dropped form in equally dramatic fashion, allowing Li Na to raise her level close to what it was in the Olympic Games.
I'm not sure much can be read into this upset other than Serena having a very bad day at the office. Her results this year certainly suggest she's taking her tennis very seriously, so I'm going to hope this is nothing more than a blip, albeit a rather expensive one (its going to cost her the #1 ranking). She was certainly very realistic about the loss of ranking: "To be quite honest I don't deserve it playing like that; I have to step it up and I will."
Besides that high profile loss, the standard of tennis in Stuttgart thus far, has been of an immensely high standard with all of the top players playing close to the best of their ability; to be honest I can't remember the last time that happened.
Bartoli, despite an impressive performance in the first round, went out today in a very one sided match to Zvonareva who is looking better than she has all season. Victoria Azarenka, has been the other player to really stand out. She defeated Radwanska 6-1,7-5 yesterday, who for me is going through something of a Hingis phase in her career: she's one of the best tacticians on tour at the moment, making up for her lack of pace with thoughtful, incisive play, but has recently had a spate of losses to players all of whom hit the ball harder than her - she's still only 19, but you'd think something has to change soon.