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 her problem was mental, she replied, ''A hundred percent.''