Samantha Stosur felt great before things started to spin out of control.
She was playing before her home crowd at the Australian Open and she was winning - by a lot. The anxiety that had risen so often on center court seemed at bay.
Up 5-2 in the third set, Stosur was two points - just two points - from reaching the third round.
''It was close to being a great day,'' Stosur said, trying to analyze what went wrong. ''And now, it's not such a great day.''
Her tenacious opponent, the 40th-ranked Zheng Jie of China, won the next five games and won 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. The match ended with one last double-fault from Stosur - she had nine in total and 56 unforced errors.
''Obviously it's a hard one to take when you get yourself into a winning position and you lose five games straight,'' she said. ''It just kept happening, point after point after point.''
Asked how much of her problem was mental, she replied, ''A hundred percent.''
Stosur reached the French Open final in 2010. She beat Se...