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Missed opportunity

Friday, January 17, 2014

MELBOURNE - Australian Olivia Rogowska has missed a golden opportunity to join countrywomen Sam Stosur and Casey Dellacqua in the third round of the Australian Open, losing 6-4 7-5 to Elina Svitolina.

Bidding to make a maiden grand slam third round appearance, Rogowska was on track early but from 4-2 lost six consecutive games to give away the momentum.

The 169th ranked Rogowska broke her higher-ranked opponent in the first game, falling 0-40 behind but rallying to break through heavy baseline hitting.

The Australian's powerful groundstrokes allowed her to dictate much of the play, but Svitolina broke back in the eighth game and surged to take the first set.

Svitolina, a 19-year-old who surged into the world's top 50 in 2013, looked rampant early in the second set but Rogowska showed fighting spirit to break back twice against the run of play at 0-2 and 2-4 down.

With temperatures above 38 degrees from the start of play and climbing, the Ukrainian's consistent pressure proved too much for the errant Rogowska.

Rogowska produced more winners but also more unforced errors as she succumbed in the heat after 89 minutes, double-faulting to lose the match on the second match point.

Australia has failed to send three women to the third round at Melbourne Park since 2003.

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