Britain’s number one Elena Baltacha is out of the French Open after suffering a straight-sets defeat by US Open champion Samantha Stosur on day one at Roland Garros.
The Scot fought well in the first set but was outclassed in the second, with sixth seed Stosur winning 6-4 6-0 in just over an hour.
Baltacha, who made round two in 2011, was the first player eliminated and said,
“To be honest, it was not the draw I wanted – she is one of the best players in the world on clay, it was a big ask.
“She played very well. I managed to get back at 5-4. It would have been interesting to see if I had made it 5-5.
“In the second set she went two levels up and that was it. She was too good. It was a good lesson for me today.”
Baltacha started nervously, failing to land a single first serve as her opponent broke to 15 in game two for a 2-0 lead.
A winning lob helped her to an immediate break-back point, but Stosur served her way out of trouble and was soon 5-2 ahead.
Baltacha finally found some rhythm with a confident hold in game eight followed by three huge groundstrokes in game nine.
Stosur produced a double-fault on break point, but hit straight back to wrap up the opening set on Court Philippe Chatrier.
However, there was no such contest after the change of ends as Baltacha sliced a poor backhand into the net to fall 2-0 behind.
A wayward forehand made it 3-0 and when the double-break arrived, Baltacha’s fate was looking inevitable.
The Scot slipped to 0-40 in game six and despite saving two match points, her defeat was confirmed when Stosur drilled a forehand down the line.
Baltacha added afterwards, “I gave everything I had and really enjoyed the experience.”
British hopes in the women’s draw now rest with Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson and Laura Robson.
Keothavong faces Melinda Czink of Hungary, Watson takes on Elena Vesnina and Robson plays Anabel Medina Garrigues.
Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
Photo credit: James Jordan Photography