MELBOURNE - Roberta Vinci's third round loss at the Australian Open to unheralded German Anna-Lena Friedsam on Friday was simply a reflection of a bad day at the office, the Italian veteran said.
A good day for the 32-year-old could be benchmarked against her victory over world number one Serena Williams in the US Open semi-finals last year, ending the American's hopes of a calendar grand slam.
The pair had been drawn for a possible repeat showdown in the semi-finals at Melbourne Park but Vinci had her hopes shattered by the 21-year-old Friedsam, who won the match 0-6 6-4 6-4 on Hisense Arena.
"Yes I won against Serena but now when I go on the court it's like I'm back at the office," Vinci told reporters. "And today, I didn't play so good."
Vinci at least started well as she raced through in the first set in 28 minutes, though she said she found it hard to keep that intensity level up.
"It's always tough when you win 6-0 in the first set," said Vinci, who added she could not remember losing a match before after winning the first set to love.
"Then you have to try again in the first and second games in the second set but my forehand was not good and I was not aggressive. "I had a lot of chances in the third set with so many break points but I played so bad."
Friedsam, who watched replays of Vinci's victory over Williams to analyse for any weaknesses, had never advanced to the third round of a grand slam before.
Facing a potentially embarrassing defeat, the world number 82 said she decided to cut loose from the beginning of the second set.
"It was going to be difficult for me to come back, so I just tried to relax and have some fun," she said. "And it went good."
The simple approach had also helped her at a crucial stage in the third set when Vinci had three break points to take a 3-1 lead, only for the "angry" German to storm back to level it at 2-2.
"I was just so angry that I had gone 0-40. That was all I recognised," she said. "I thought to myself 'come on this is not good' and I just tried to focus on the next point. Then the next one. And taking it step by step was the key."