Angry Aussie bows out of French Open
AJLA Tomljanovic is certain to be fined in a bitter French Open postscript after the Australian squandered a huge lead before plummeting to defeat against title aspirant Elina Svitolina.
Tomljanovic steamed to a 5-1 lead against the tournament fourth seed and twice unsuccessfully served for the opening set before unravelling.
Unseeded, the right-hander lost 5-7 3-6 in 89 minutes with 35 unforced errors, five double faults and 21 winners.
And, after being overhauled by the Ukrainian, Tomljanovic angrily belted her racquet into the court at the end of the first set three times, totally mangling it.
The uncharacteristic flash of anger was an unfortunate punctuation mark for the baseliner, who has rebuilt her ranking from oblivion to No 68 after shoulder surgery.
But she will long lament not burying jittery Svitolina.
Blasting winners off both flanks, Tomljanovic rattled Svitolina with her aggression and deservedly careered to a huge 5-1 lead.
Serving for the set with new balls, the Queenslander double faulted three times to drop the game - after holding a set point.
Worse followed two games later, when Tomljanovic again struggled on serve as Svitolina took control.
Broken for the third time in as many service games to surrender the set, Tomljanovic furiously destroyed her racquet after a forehand found the net.
After such a promising start, the Australian lost six games in a row.
And there was no compassion from merciless Svitolina in the second set, either.
She streaked to 2-0, stumbled and then regained control to safely reach the second phase.
"It's tough losing to a top seed when you're in position to potentially win the set and then you never know what can happen," Tomljanovic said. "But physically I wasn't great going into the match. I was really quite sick last week.
"So I was actually pretty happy with the way I fought because I could have rolled over after the fifth game.
"So it's kind of unfortunate. It's kind of bittersweet because I'm glad that I provided a decent level at times, but losing is never fun."
- with AAP
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