TEN OPEN STOSUR
Samantha Stosur is set to tumble outside the world's top 100 for the first time in a decade after a humbling third-round exit from the French Open.
Reigning Wimbledon champion and 2016 Roland Garros winner Garbine Muguruza overpowered Stosur 6-0 6-2 in a centre-court mauling on Saturday that left Daria Gavrilova as Australia's last remaining singles hope in Paris.
The defeat was the equal heaviest of Stosur's 146-match grand-slam career.
The veteran claycourter lost 6-2 6-0 to Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the third round in Paris in 2004 and by the same scoreline to Coco Vandeweghe three years ago in the Wimbledon third round.
But never before has Australia's only grand-slam singles champion in the past 16 years endured such misery on one of tennis's four-biggest stages.
Unable to defend the rankings points accrued from last year's run to the round of 16, Stosur is projected to slip to No.101 in the world, her lowest position since 2008.
Since then, the 34-year-old has been largely entrenched in the world's top 25 after reaching the 2010 title match in Paris, as well as four other semi-finals, and hoisting the 2011 US Open crown.
Stosur has succumbed to the eventual champion in five of her past nine visits to Roland Garros and, on Saturday's evidence, 2018 might prove the sixth time.
Muguruza, the only player to have toppled both Serena and Venus Williams in grand-slam finals, was merciless on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
The world No.3 conceded just 10 points in racing through the first set in 26 minutes.
The horrifying prospect of a career-first double bagel was on the cards, as Stosur quickly fell 2-0 behind in the second set, before the Queenslander finally held to get on the board.
Stosur briefly threatened a fight back when she broke Muguruza to level the set at 2-2, only for the third-seeded title favourite to reel off four-straight games to seal victory and a last-16 date with unseeded Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko.
"I had a tough opponent today, she's a grand slam champion and a former finalist here. I knew that if I didn't play my best tennis, it would be very hard," said Muguruza, who ended the match with an ace.
"This court, I've been watching it since I was six to seven years old. Every time I come here, it's so special."
It was obvious from the outset that Stosur had her work cut out, Muguruza clubbing Stosur's opening serve for a fierce backhand return winner to set the tone.
Forcing Stosur wide and deep beyond the baseline with her probing groundstrokes, Muguruza gained a break in the first game of the match.
Showing no let-up, the Spaniard broke Stosur for a second time to surge to a 4-0 lead.
Stosur tried everything but also had no joy advancing to the net, Muguruza firing shots past her before a double-fault from the Australian and forehand error surrendered a third break.
Muguruza served out the opening set before continuing the onslaught in the second to wrap up victory in a tick over an hour.