Before things started to spin out of control, Samantha Stosur felt great.
She was playing before her home crowd at the Australian Open and she was winning - by a lot. The anxiety that had conquered her so often before 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,'' the No. 9-seeded 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 came back to win 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 h...