Simon Reed

The mystery of Stosur’s Wimbledon woes

Simon Reed

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Sam Stosur

The biggest shock of the day for me - and the saddest result to see - was Sam Stosur losing to Arantxa Rus. That's not to take anything away from Rus, who played superbly well and deserves all the plaudits that she will receive, particularly for fighting back after being destroyed in the second set.

But the big question we're left with is this: why can't Stosur perform at Wimbledon? She's lost in the first round five times and in the second round the other four times she's played. It's a mystery.

When she was growing up the biggest tournament around for her, as it always is for Australians, would have been Wimbledon - and it's somewhere she should shine. She has all the tools to play well on grass - particularly with her great power - but sadly she just has a mental block when she gets to SW19. It seems to me that she puts a huge amount of pressure on herself when she gets here, and perhaps she did that even more than usual this year after flopping at the Australian Open.

It's such a shame to see such a great girl, someone who is incredibly popular on tour, continually failing to do well at such an important tournament. It feels as if she's convinced herself that she doesn't have the game to do well on grass - but there is no doubt that she has. She just needs to find a way to start believing that herself.

Stosur's loss surprised me but Caroline Wozniacki's early defeat, by contrast, felt like a familiar sight.

She just doesn't seem to have the firepower to finish people off, though it has to be said that Tamira Paszek showed phenomenal guts. Wozniacki may not be the player she was a couple of years ago but you can't deny that she's always remained a very difficult player to beat in a tough scrap, and Paszek did just that.

You could argue that it was a tough draw for Wozniaki, of course, playing the Eastbourne champion. But it's getting to the stage where it feels everything is tough for her.

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Great Britain's Heather Watson celebrates victory over USA's Jamie Lee Hampton

Great Britain's Heather Watson celebrates victory

For Heather Watson, on the other hand, everything seems to be getting easier and easier: she was utterly terrific in beating Jamie Lee Hampton. The American was struggling with a back problem and wasn't up to par, but Watson was nerveless in the way she finished it off. It's a fantastic achievement to be the first British woman into the third round for 10 years.

On paper, it looks like her run will finish here: she faces third seed Agnieska Radwanska next. But I really do believe that Watson has a chance to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.

Radwanska looked good on Wednesday in beating Elena Vesnina, but in recent months she has been patchy, and I think she is beatable. It'll be a Centre Court match but Heather has shown that she is more or less immune to nerves, and as long as she keeps going for her shots - or even better, if she goes for them even more - I think she has a good chance.

Don't get me wrong, if you're nailing my feet to the floor then I'd still say Radwanska is the more likely winner. But it just feels that the cards are falling for Heather at the moment, and an upset is a possibility.

I think Elena Baltacha will have a much tougher job on her hands against Petra Kvitova in her second round match. The defending champion can be all over the place of late and looked very shaky in her first match. But I sense that was just an attack of nerves on returning to Centre Court, and she will be too strong for Balatcha on Thursday.

Sadly, I feel the same will happen to Anne Keothavong: she's playing Sara Errani in the second round, and it feels like she's taking on the wrong player at the wrong time. Errani isn't great on grass, but her confidence is still sky high flying after everything she achieved at Roland Garros in getting to the final. It'd be a lot to ask for Anne to beat her.

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