Paris, France, 24 May 2014 |

Olivia Rogowska served for a place in the Roland Garros main draw but fell agonisingly short in a three-set defeat to Georgia’s Sofia Shapatava in the final round of qualifying on Saturday.

The Victorian, seeded 16th in the qualifying event, played exemplary tennis to build a 6-3 5-3 lead, and even served for the match in the 10th game, but could only watch as Shapatava clawed her way back to win 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3.

After breezing through the first set, Rogowska was forced to battle harder in the second, with games going on serve.

Yet when Shapatava unsuccessfully argued a line call in the sixth game – Rogowska’s ace would eventually be counted and helped her hold for 3-3 – the Georgian’s mentality and resistance appeared to have crumbled.

Rogowska stayed true to her game plan of expertly moving the ball around the court, but began to misfire slightly as the finish line came within sight; Shapatava meanwhile cut down on the errors that had plagued her throughout the match to that point.

This combination of factors served to completely change the complexion of the match.

Although Rogowska played very solidly to stave off a bundle of set points in the 12th game and force the tiebreak, Shapatava’s confidence was renewed.

She won the breaker to level the match, and broke serve early in the third set, maintaining that advantage for the rest of the match.