Just last September, when her ranking was outside the top 200, Wimbledon doubles finalist Casey Dellacqua would not have imagined that her next centre court match at the All England Club would come nine months later as a top-40 singles player taking on fourth seed and 2012 runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska.
But so it was, and so it ended, 6-4, 6-0 in 56 minutes in Wednesday's second round. Dellacqua, 29, will still, no doubt, savour the once-in-her-career experience, even if a competitive first set morphed into a rather one-sided affair in the second.
Radwanska is a class act, with great touch and variety, if not the power of some of the game's bigger, stronger hitters. She was always going to be a tough assignment for Dellacqua, who needed three sets to beat qualifier Anett Kontaveit after saving a match point.
One of five Australians in action on day three, Dellacqua started a little nervously, as you would, but while unable to convert her first few break back chances in the fifth game, from 1-5 seemed to relax into her flat-hitting rhythm against a player who routinely denies her opponents such a luxury.
The West Australian was able to draw back to 4-5 after Radwanska twice failed to serve out the first set, but a loose game handed the 6-4 advantage to the Pole after 34 minutes, and she raised her level again early in the second to bolt to a 3-0 lead. There was to be no recovery this time, Dellacqua failing to serve quite well enough, or match Radwanska's efficiency rate, her winner-error ratio 11-22, compared with the winner's 22-8.
But there is still doubles, with close friend Ash Barty, who supported her from the player's box, along with coach Shannon Nettle, with whom she credits much of her career renaissance. There is also the knowledge that, this time last year, she did not even make it into the Wimbledon singles draw, and the prospect of a seeding by the time of the US Open, where she was required to qualify in 2013.
Earlier, French Open semi-finalist and 12th seed Ernests Gulbis figured on the wrong side of the early day two upset, toppled 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 97-5) by last year's Fed-slayer, Sergiy Stakhovsky. But five-time champion Venus Williams and Li Na both progressed in straight sets.
The story Casey Dellacqua bows out of Wimbledon's second round first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.