A subdued and thoroughly shocked Aussie audience, speechless commentators and a deflated Sam Stosur described the scene following the 2011 US Open champion's opening round loss to Sorana Cirstea of Romania.
This is not how Stosur, nor really anyone, envisioned starting her 2012 campaign.
The applause following this match will go down in the record books as being the softest applause in any Grand Slam match ever.
Sitting here writing this article, I am honestly stunned over what just occurred.
After an hour and 31 minutes of play, Cirstea wrapped up the match, 7-6(2) 6-3.
Throughout the course of the match, Stosur looked to be out of sorts and never really sought out to obtain the initiative in the points, letting Cirstea dominate from the back of the court.
Stosur had 12 winners and 33 unforced errors which pales in comparison to Cirstea's 28 winners and 26 errors. This presents clear evidence that Stosur was not only the less consistent of the two players, but was also less aggressive than the Romanian.
Stosur, as many expected she would, crumbled under the weight of expectation. The Aussie crowd undoubtedly had elevated hopes for Stosur's Aussie Open prospects. Stosur herself admitted to being nervous about playing to the expectations of the home crowd in Australia.
This match now means that the last four women to have won a Grand Slam have all either lost in the first or second round in the following slam.
Let's take a closer look at the last four women to have won a Grand Slam and their setbacks in the following slam.
Kim Clijsters: 2011 Australian Open champion
Next Slam: Lost second round to Arantxa Rus (French Open)
Li Na: 2011 French Open champion
Next Slam: Lost second round to Sabine Lisicki (Wimbledon)
Petra Kvitova: 2011 Wimbledon champion
Next Slam: Lost first round to Alexandra Dulgheru (US Open)
Samantha Stosur: 2011 US Open champion
Next Slam: Lost first round to Sorana Cirstea (Australian Open)
Sam Stosur has unfortunately followed suit to start off 2012. Moving forward, let's hope that Stosur can regroup and regain the form that propelled her to the US Open title.
In addition, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues or if the winner of the 2012 Australian Open will have greater success at the 2012 French Open.
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