Sam Stosur was unceremoniously dumped out of the Australian Open on Thursday night, winning just one game in a 6-0 6-1 thrashing against Jessica Pegula.
In what could be her final appearance at her home grand slam, Stosur was brutally eliminated in the second round in just 50 minutes.
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If it is to be her Australian Open farewell, it won’t be remembered particularly fondly by the former US Open
Pegula had far too many weapons for the veteran Aussie, who many believe may have played her 19th and last Australian Open.
The 36-year-old has also been eliminated the doubles event, but is still to play the mixed with Matthew Ebden.
Having not played before the Australian summer since March 2020, and with a family in tow, Stosur was reluctant to commit too much this year, particularly in the midst of a pandemic.
While she enjoyed her first opening-round win at Melbourne Park since 2015 this year, the obvious gulf in class on Thursday will give her plenty to consider.
Pegula ripped through the first set in 27 minutes and the prospect of a double-bagel result loomed large.
But Stosur showed some nice touches in the second set and battled to win a service game as the 61-ranked Pegula continued to play at a high level.
Even in her pomp, Melbourne Park was far from Stosur’s favourite slam, with expectations weighing heavily on a player who was deemed her country’s best title prospect for some years.
She made fourth-round appearances in 2006 and 2010 but often preferred the French clay where she used her high-kicking serve and powerful forehand to make a decider and three semi-finals.
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Ash Barty is now Australia’s only remaining female hope, while Alex de Minaur and Nick Kyrgios remain alive in the men’s draw.
De Minaur made light work of Pablo Cuevas to advance to the third round on Thursday night, downing the Uruguayan 6-3 6-3 7-5 on Margaret Court Arena.
While compatriots Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis spent three-and-a-half and four-and-half hours respectively on court in second round clashes, de Minaur checked out in under two.
It had followed an equally breezy first-round win over Tennys Sandgren and sets up a last 32 encounter with Fabio Fognini.
De Minaur’s win already equals his best Open run of 2019, the 21-year-old missing last year’s Melbourne Park tilt with an abdominal injury.
“Pablo's a very skilled veteran player and I knew I had to be on top of my game to get through tonight,” de Minaur said.
“I'm very happy how I maintained my focus throughout the whole match and played some great quality tennis.
“Yet again, happy to be back.”
Kyrgios returns to the court for his third round match against Dominic Thiem on Friday night.
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