A MISERABLE Wimbledon for Australia was completed yesterday when women’s fifth seed Sam Stosur became the biggest casualty so far at this year’s Championships.
For the first time since 1938, no Australian man made it through to the second round at the All England Club, while only Stosur was successful among the women in clearing the first hurdle.
The 28-year-old has never been beyond the third round at this event.
But she is the reigning US Open champion, having beaten Serena Williams in the final in New York, and was still a big favourite to beat Arantxa Rus.
However, the Dutch player is no stranger to upsets 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 2-6 6-0 4-6 after saving match points.
Stosur, who missed two chances to level the match at 5-5 in the third, did not attempt to sugarcoat Australia’s woes following her loss but is confident better days are ahead.
She said: “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.
“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.”