Furious Stosur takes time out

Samantha Stosur will take a two-week timeout after departing Paris feeling furious at failing to fire in a third-round French Open loss to defending champion Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova ended Stosur’s campaign with a 6-3 6-4 victory in cold and blustery conditions at Roland Garros on Friday, with Australia’s former finalist livid that 34 unforced errors in the one-hour, 40-minute encounter undermined her challenge.

“I felt really good going into it,” Stosur said.

“I’m just incredibly angry with myself right now that I wasn’t able to do more and give myself more of a chance to really feel like I was in the match.

“It was all round a bit sloppy. Never really felt like I played really well for long period of the match.

“Never any momentum, never any rhythm or anything to the match. It was incredibly frustrating.”

It was Sharapova’s 15th success in 17 encounters with Stosur, but the titleholder was nevertheless elated to advance in straight sets after needing three to survive a fourth-round thriller with the former US Open champion last year.

“We have had many tough matches despite my record and it’s not something that I look at very lightly when I go up to that match,” said the world No.2.

“I know that I have to beat a good player, and she’s been playing really well and she loves playing here.

“For a third-round match, I thought it was a great result for me.”

Out to atone for last year and extend her seven-match claycourt winning streak, Stosur gained the opening break of the match only to hand it straight back with a double-fault and backhand error.

Sharapova forged to a 4-2 lead but invited Stosur back into the set with three double-faults – but again the 26th seed was unable to take advantage and dropped serve for a third time to drop the first set in 40 minutes.

Stosur raised her game in an hour-long second set but bowed out without being able to gain another break after dropping her own serve for a fourth time with another double-fault.

While Sharapova advanced to a fourth-round meeting on Sunday with 13th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova, Stosur planned to return to her Florida base for a fortnight’s break before returning at Eastbourne for her only Wimbledon lead-up event.

Back with long-time coach David Taylor, Stosur is feeling good about her game entering the grasscourt season despite her setback in Paris.

After being in danger of dropping out of the world’s top 32, the 31-year-old secured a Wimbledon seeding with a breakthrough first title of the season in Strasbourg last week.

“My tennis the last month or so has really picked up,” Stosur said.

“If I look at it from a bit more of a broader picture, things are moving in the right direction again, which is a good feeling.

“feel like I’m playing a lot better at the moment, so that kind of makes today even more annoying.

“Look, it is what it is. I’ll be ready for the grass and then for the rest of the year.”

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