Perth, WA, 31 December 2011 | AAP

World No.5 Li Na got China’s Hopman Cup tennis campaign off to the perfect start, defeating France’s world No.9 Marion Bartoli 2-6 6-2 6-4 in Perth on Saturday.

Bartoli appeared on track for a straight-sets win after taking the first set in 44 minutes before setting up two break points early in the second set.

But Li, who has struggled to recapture top form since winning the French Open earlier this year, showed far more urgency from that point on, winning the last four games of the second set before grinding down Bartoli in the decider.

“At the beginning of the match she was playing so fast. I was like ‘what’s going on’,” Li said.

“But after three or four games I got used to it.”

World No.19 Richard Gasquet must defeat world No.424 Wu Di in the men’s singles rubber for France to stay alive in the tie.

Li said her French Open success had changed her life in so many ways, but may have also adversely affected her on-court performances.

“If I go somewhere to play a tournament, more people know who I am. I lose concentration on the court. I’m only focusing on the photo shooting,” she said with a laugh.

“It’s tough after winning a big title, (maintaining) the concentration.”