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Aussies struggling ahead of French Open
06:45 AEST Fri Apr 26 2013

Top-ranked Australians Samantha Stosur and Bernard Tomic have suffered early setbacks on the road to next month's French Open.

The claycourt season is usually a productive time of year for 2010 French Open finalist Stosur, who has reached the semi-finals two other times at Roland Garros in the past four years.

But sixth-seeded Stosur was beaten by world No.18 Jelena Jankovic 6-4 6-4 in the first round of the Stuttgart claycourt event on Wednesday.

It was former world No.1 Jankovic's sixth win in eight career meetings with Stosur but the first on clay.

However, Stosur had little turnaround time following Australia's rain-delayed Fed Cup tie win over Switzerland on Monday, when she won both her singles matches on the clay surface.

Countryman Tomic suffered his second early exit in as many weeks when crushed 6-0 6-2 by world No.20 Juan Monaco of Argentina in the second round at the Barcelona Open.

The loss came a week after a 6-2 6-4 first round defeat by Alexandr Dolgopolov at the Monte Carlo Masters - the first of the big men's clay court season events.

It continued a mixed start to the year for 47th-ranked Tomic since his home country heroics where he beat Novak Djokovic at the Hopman Cup, won his first ATP title in Sydney and made the third round at the Australian Open before falling to Roger Federer.

In his seven ATP tournaments since, the 20-year-old Tomic has only once gone beyond the second round.

However he earned plenty of credit for his gritty performance in the recent difficult Davis Cup World Group playoff tie in Uzbekistan.

Tomic won both his singles matches in the tie, including a 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-3 fightback to down Uzbek No.1 Denis Istomin and seal Australia's win.


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