“Three and Out.”
That football term fits Charleston touring tennis professional Shelby Rogers’ trip Down Under. In her latest match, Rogers jumped off to an impressive lead before faltering in a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 loss to 67th-ranked Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday in the first round of the Australian Open.
The loss ended the 76th-ranked Rogers’ trip to New Zealand and Australia with a 0-3 record.
After rallying from a 3-1 deficit into a 3-3 deadlock in the second set, the 22-year-old Rogers managed to win only one more game in the two-hour match in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Tomljanovic used her consistency to close out Rogers by winning the last seven games.
Tomljanovic put the match on ice by winning 16 of the first 17 points of a third set in which the 21-year-old Australian won a total of four love games as Rogers’ big groundstrokes lost their accuracy.
Tomljanovic limited Rogers to seven points in the third set while committing only two unforced errors to 15 by Rogers.
The match was the nightcap of a full day and night of tennis before a large crowd that had just watched Aussie Lleyton Hewitt thrill a packed arena with another inspiring victory. Tomljanovic’s spirited play to recover from an early 4-1 deficit kept the crowd going until almost midnight.