x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Stosur and Australian compatriots go from bad to 'woeful'

Caroline Wozniacki also exits from the Wimbledon tournament but Ana Ivanovic progresses.

Samantha Stosur says it is one of those things that all nine Aussies are out of the tournament.
Samantha Stosur says it is one of those things that all nine Aussies are out of the tournament.

A miserable Wimbledon for Australia was complete yesterday when the No 5 seed Sam Stosur became the biggest casualty so far at this year's championships.

For the first time since 1938, no men from Down Under made it to the second round at the All England Club, and only Stosur was successful among the women in clearing the first hurdle. Nine Aussies, all of them gone.

"It's a pretty woeful performance by all of us, but it's not through lack of trying or not wanting to be here or anything like that," Stosur said. "I think it's just one of those things that's happened.

"I think you have to look at something as a whole, for a longer period of time than just one event, to say that we're in this dire straits kind of mode right now.

"So I think, of course, it can be better. Myself and all the other players that I'm sure I can speak for wish we had a better tournament. There's definitely players coming up. But it's always going to take time. I think sometimes you have to stick to a plan for a long period, even if you go through a few lulls, to see if it's really working.

"I think if you chop and change and are always trying to look for that secret answer, you're not necessarily going to find it either."

Stosur has never been beyond the third round here but she was still a big favourite to beat Holland's Arantxa Rus, no stranger to upsets after having knocked out Kim Clijsters at the French Open last year. Stosur looked to have recovered from a poor start when she breezed through the second set without losing a game, but she then dropped 5-2 behind in the decider.

Rus had a bit of trouble crossing the finish line but there was to be no comeback for Stosur, who eventually lost 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 after saving two match points.

In another surprise, Tamira Paszek defeated Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, the former world No 1.

The Austrian saved two match points in the second set and won 5-7, 7-6, 6-4.

The match was played under the roof at Centre Court because of rain. "I came here in a great rhythm from Eastbourne, but this was really tough," said Paszek, the world No 35. "Caroline is a real fighter and a great competitor. It was tough under the roof because the court slows down.

In other matches, Serbia's Ana Ivanovic progressed to the second round with a hard-fought 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez; Kimiko Date-Krumm, comfortably the oldest player at Wimbledon at 41, crashed out in the first round but to do everything in her power to return next year; and Heather Watson became the first British woman to reach the third round in 10 years as she overcome the American Jamie Hampton.

Also, Sabine Lisicki of Germany complained to the umpire over the grunting of Bojana Jovanovski, but still emerged the winner.

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