Rodionova bows out in second round
Arina Rodionova's spirited run at Wimbledon came to an end on Thursday when the Aussie qualifier fell in two tight sets to in-form Zarina Diyas.
Australia’s Wimbledon singles campaign is over following a tough second-round loss for Arina Rodionova.
The qualifier let slip a 5-1 second-set lead in going down 6-4 7-6(4) to Kazakh wildcard Zarina Diyas in a rollercoaster one-hour and 50-minute encounter on Thursday.
The world No.166 was valiant in defeat in a match played in searing London heat.
“I did what I could and I don’t think I would change anything. My level of effort was 100 per cent,” Rodionova said.
“I probably wasn’t physically 100 per cent because I was really fatigued from previous two matches. But I was fighting for every point today and that’s really I can ask for.”
Rodionova’s emotions threatened to boil over as she engaged in a running battle with umpire Mariana Alves over line calls and her repeated complaints that the court was “too slippery”.
Diyas also complained about the slipperiness of the court; both women lost their footing several times on Court 14 throughout the match.
Rodionova missed two set points on Diyas’ serve before dropping her own serve twice to allow the Kazakh to level the set at 5-5.
But, out of nowhere, Australia’s improbable first-round saviour broke Diyas from 40-love to steal an opportunity to serve out the second set.
Alas, despite grittily fighting off four break points, Rodionova was unable to level the match.
But the 27-year-old fought desperately until the very end.
Exhausted in her comeback from injury, Diyas collapsed into Rodionova’s arms in a warm embrace at the net after finally putting the Australian away after winning the rally of the match.
Rodionova’s exit leaves Australia without a third-round representative in either the men’s or women’s singles draw for the first time since 2012.