SINK­ING SAMMY

Sto­sur set to drop out of top 100 af­ter thrash­ing by Mugu­ruza

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - PARIS

SAMAN­THA Sto­sur is set to tum­ble out of the world’s top 100 for the first time in a decade af­ter a hum­bling third-round exit from the French Open last night.

Reign­ing Wim­ble­don cham­pion and 2016 Roland Gar­ros win­ner Gar­bine Mugu­ruza over­pow­ered Sto­sur 6-0 6-2 in a cen­tre-court maul­ing that left Daria Gavrilova as Aus­tralia’s last re­main­ing sin­gles hope in Paris.

The de­feat was Sto­sur’s equal heav­i­est of her 146match grand slam ca­reer.

The vet­eran clay­courter lost 6-2 6-0 to Anna-Lena Groene­feld in the third round in Paris in 2004 and by the same score­line to Coco Van­deweghe three years ago in the Wim­ble­don third round.

But never be­fore has Aus­tralia’s only grand slam sin­gles cham­pion in the past 16 years en­dured such mis­ery on one of ten­nis’s four-big­gest stages.

Unable to de­fend the rank­ings points ac­crued from last year’s run to the round of 16, Sto­sur is pro­jected to slip to No. 101 in the world, her low­est po­si­tion since 2008.

Since then, the 34-yearold has been largely en­trenched in the world’s top 25 af­ter reach­ing the 2010 ti­tle match in Paris, as well as four other semi-fi­nals, and hoist­ing the 2011 US Open crown.

Sto­sur has suc­cumbed to the even­tual cham­pion in five of her past nine vis­its to Roland Gar­ros and, on yes­ter­day’s ev­i­dence, 2018 might prove the sixth time.

Mugu­ruza, the only player to have top­pled both Ser­ena and Venus Wil­liams in grand-slam fi­nals, was mer­ci­less on Court Philippe-Cha­trier. The world No. 3 con­ceded just 10 points in rac­ing through the first set in 26 min­utes.

The hor­ri­fy­ing prospect of a ca­reer-first dou­ble bagel was on the cards, as Sto­sur quickly fell 2-0 be­hind in the sec­ond set, be­fore the Queens­lan­der fi­nally held to get on the board.

Sto­sur briefly threat­ened a fight­back when she broke Mugu­ruza to level the set at 2-2, only for the third-seeded ti­tle favourite to reel off fourstraight games to seal vic­tory and a last-16 date with Mag­dalena Ry­barikova or Le­sia Tsurenko.

It was ob­vi­ous from the out­set that Sto­sur had her work cut out, Mugu­ruza club­bing Sto­sur’s open­ing serve for a fierce back­hand re­turn win­ner to set the tone.

Forc­ing Sto­sur wide and deep beyond the base­line with her prob­ing ground strokes, Mugu­ruza gained a break in the first game of the match.

Show­ing no let-up, the Spa­niard broke Sto­sur for a sec­ond time to surge to a 4-0 lead. Sto­sur tried every­thing but also had no joy ad­vanc­ing to the net. Mugu­ruza fired shots past her be­fore se­cur­ing a third break.

Pic­ture: AFP

Aus­tralia's Saman­tha Sto­sur serves to Spain's Gar­bine Mugu­ruza dur­ing their French Open third-round clash last night.

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