Jelena Jankovic’s defeat of Sam Stosur in the third round of the French Open will see the Australian women’s star lose her top ten ranking for the first time since 2011. Stosur faces what will be a challenging few months as she attempts to revive a career that has faltered in curious fashion.
Australian tennis fans haven’t had much to cheer about over the past decade and have experienced first-hand a world class talent dropping off the face of the earth- Lleyton Hewitt’s loud run as a world No.1 didn’t last long and his abilities seemingly fell off a cliff after his celebrity marriage back in 2005. Since winning her maiden Grand Slam at the US Open in 2011, Stosur’s career has taken a downwards arc and a sense of déjà vu is settling in amongst her run of bad form.
Jankovic sunk Stosur with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory and the ninth seed now faces a possible drop to as low as No.14 on the world rankings. Stosur’s exhibited the frustration plaguing her form when a reporter asked her post-match if there were any positives to take away from the loss.
"What's the point?" she replied. "I'm out of the event. I'm very disappointed and it's hard to take a little bit. I thought I probably played well enough for the majority of the match to be through, but obviously I didn't do it enough and didn't do it at the right time, or whatever, and I find myself out of the tournament. I played two good matches, first and second round, but now it's, so what? At the moment it's disappointing. It's certainly not the Roland Garros that I was hoping to have, or probably expected to have in my own head."
Stosur will probably never be considered a clay court expert, but she has had success at the French Open before, namely an appearance in the final in 2010, making her her loss to a lesser player all the more confusing.
"I fought hard, I gave it everything but just came up short. It's hard to take because it's the last clay court tournament that I'm going to play for almost 12 months. It's a tournament in which I've done well before, and I've come into it thinking I can probably do it again. But I guess it's over for the moment and then you head on to the grass and we'll see what happens there."
It is far from certain Stosur will be able to rectify this bad run and all Aussie tennis fans can do is hold their breath and hope a repeat of Hewitt's rapid fall from world No.1 to out of the top 100 isn't about to relive itself.
Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.