The Girl Who Almost Made History


WHAT A TEASE: Olga Rogowska, the young, almost innocent Aussie of Polish heritage, came within a couple of games of pulling off one of the great shock wins in the storied history of this game. But the Tennis Gods seemed to say sorry, kid, not on this day, not on this stage, the biggest in tennis. Had she won, Rogowska would have become the first player to beat the No. 1 seed in the first round of the U.S. Open. (Three No. 1 women at Wimbledon — Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis (twice) — have lost in the first round at the All England Club.) Last year’s No. 1 USO seed, Ana Ivanovic, lost in the second round to France’s Julie Coin. (Ivanovic was recovering from a thumb injury.)

CURIOUS QUESTION OF THE DAY: A reporter told 18-year-old Rogowska (after she nearly beat Safina) that she’s done “incredibly well in this press conference,” then asked whether her performance would give her “more confidence for future press conferences.”

SAY IT ISN’T SO: Rogowska has not been home to Melbourne for five months. And, yeah, she’s seriously homesick.

LET’S HOPE SO: Rogowska said her heartbreaking loss was “a great learning experience.”

QUICK, CALL A MEDIC: There were times Rogowska could hardly serve, hit an overhead or volley. She admitted that she “pictured her parents sitting on the couch [at home] and that’s a lot of pressure…I bet they had a heart attack or two.”