Australian star Sam Stosur's 2012 season was one of great promise and potential, but it started off in the worst possible way when she was defeated by Romanian Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the first round of the Australian Open.
"Certainly not the way that I wanted, not just this tournament, but the whole summer," to play out, Stosur said via CBS Sports. "There's not any other word for it but a total disappointment."
The fifth-ranked women's player in the world became the highest-seeded player to be knocked out of the tournament through the first round on either the men's or women's bracket.
Stosur disappointed her home crowd and prolonged the drought of Australian women winning their country's Grand Slam event. Chris Neil in 1978 was the last Australian woman to win in Melborne.
This setback for Stosur will take some time to heal from. After winning the 2011 US Open in August over Serena Williams, Stosur looked poised to become a superstar in women's tennis.
The next step for Stosur is to learn from her loss and rebound even stronger, because with her talent, she has a chance to win any of the remaining three Grand Slams this season.
"I'll probably take at least a few days off, get away, try and not think about it, kind of forget about what's happened a little bit," she said. "I know I'll get back on the court, in the gym, do all the work I need to do to keep trying to get better, improve, be ready for the next tournaments.
"It's not going to deter me from doing what I want to do. If anything, it will probably spur me on to try even harder and do even more."
The biggest thing Stosur has do deal with this season is success, and how with success comes the expectation that you perform well in nearly every match play.
Once you achieve the status of Grand Slam champion, the expectations grow at a tremendous rate, and your failures are magnified much greater than before.
How she responds from this loss and performs in her next tournament will tell the tennis world a lot about where Stosur's career is headed.
The best players show the ability to turn great adversity into a positive, and with Stosur's talent and maturity, there's no reason the 27-year-old cannot bounce back well.
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