Tomljanovic searching for Paris answers

·3-min read

Ajla Tomljanovic was left groping around for the key to reboot her season after she suffered what she felt was a "disappointing" straight sets defeat at Roland Garros.

Australia's No.2, the only domestic player in action at the French Open on Wednesday, pondered that perhaps a mental block lay behind her convincing second round defeat 6-2 6-3 to Russia's No.31 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Seeing her hopes of reaching the third round of a grand slam for the first time in seven years dashed, Tomljanovic's exit seemed tame compared to her dramatic loss at the Australian Open when she had world No.2 Simona Halep on the ropes in a thrilling final set.

Arguably, the 28-year-old from Brisbane has not been quite the same player since that second round defeat in Melbourne, when she was flying, only to have a 5-2 final set lead wrenched away.

"I played a great match against Halep, but in the end I lost and maybe I should have taken more positives out of it, but I don't think I did," Tomljanovic told AAP.

"Every week's new, every week's different - that was a great match with Simona but it hasn't lingered on, and I'm just trying every week to do better,

"My game's still there. I know how well I'm hitting the ball, and I've seen it in practice and in glimpses of matches. It's more of a mental thing now."

Tomljanovic, the world No.76, felt she had had her chances against the former Russian junior prodigy Pavlyuchenkova but, in truth, it appeared the Russian pretty much controlled proceedings, apart from a brief dip at the start of the second set.

"We had a tough battle in Melbourne (in the Phillip Island Trophy) in February and it was close. But she plays it a bit different on clay," said Tomljanovic.

"She didn't give me a lot of rhythm, so I never felt comfortable."

Tomljanovic, who had launched Australia's challenge at the clay-court grand slam with a fine opening day victory on Sunday, typically offered some highlight reel shots but was almost too aggressive as she clocked up 25 unforced errors to accompany her 11 winners.

Pavlyuchenkova, in contrast, seemed less susceptible to blundering in the slightly gusty conditions and looked in command after earning a break in the third game, helped by one of Tomljanovic's six double faults.

The world No.22 broke again in the seventh game, as the Australian coughed up another double, to take the opener in 42 minutes.

There were brief hopes of a comeback when Tomljanovic broke for a 2-0 lead in the second, thanks to a couple of unexpected errors from Pavlyuchenkova, but normal solid service was resumed as she reeled off the next four games and ended up winning after just under an hour and a half's play.

Her departure leaves world No.1 Ash Barty and Astra Sharma, who could meet in the third round, as the only two Australian women left in the singles draw, with both first out on court on Thursday.

AUSTRALIANS IN ACTION ON DAY FIVE OF THE FRENCH OPEN (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING)

Women's singles, second round

1-Ash Barty v Magda Linette (Poland)

Astra Sharma v 25-Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)

Men's singles, second round

21-Alex de Minaur v Marco Cecchinato (Italy)

James Duckworth v Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania)