Beijing, China, 4 October 2017 | Leigh Rogers

Sam Stosur’s China Open campaign has ended with a second-round loss to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. The No.8-ranked Latvian recorded a 6-3 7-5 victory.

“I feel like it was pretty close. I felt like I was right in the match the whole time, even though I was battling on the scoreboard,” Stosur said. “It was hard out there. Both of us struggled on serve, but as the match went on I felt as though I was getting better and better and was close to sneaking out that second set.”

Broken to love in the opening game, early signs weren’t positive for Stosur. But the 33-year-old’s attack on Ostapenko’s backhand soon began to pay dividends.

Stosur was controlling the match tempo, unafraid to step in on return and take time away from her big-hitting opponent. Yet Ostapenko remained patient, using her powerful ground strokes to punish Stosur when the opportunity presented as she built a 5-2 lead.

Stosur broke in the next game, but couldn’t capitalise, dropping serve to hand Ostapenko the first set in 41 minutes.

“I was doing exactly what I should have been doing, sometimes it was just difficult to execute when balls were bouncing in the shadows and throwing your timing off, but that’s just the way it was,” Stosur said.

The battle intensified in the second set, taking 54 points to decide the first four games.

Both players continued to struggle on serve and mid-way through the set there was a run of five consecutive breaks. Ostapenko claimed the set, and match, with a seventh break, after an hour and 48 minutes on court.

“I played a decent match, obviously there are some things that still need to get better,” Stosur noted. “My first serve percentage needs to get better and I need to win more points on serve. If I can do that five-to-ten per cent better, that can make a big difference.”

Stosur plans to finish an injury-interrupted season in Hong Kong next week. After scoring her first win in her comeback from a three-and-a-half month injury lay-off for a right hand stress fracture this week, Stosur is leaving Beijing feeling confident with her form.

“It’s just been good for me to get back out here, it’s been a bonus to be able to get back as quick as I did,” she said.

Currently ranked No.45, Stosur is now facing the prospect of being unseeded for the Australian Open in January for the first time since 2009.

“My ranking is not where I want it to be, that’s for sure. It’s not the ideal position to be in, but it is what it is,” she admitted. “I’m working to try and get my ranking back higher.”