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TENNIS: Australian Samantha Stosur has achieved something not even Serena Williams has done - being the best woman player in her country for 450 straight weeks.
WTA officials were searching record books trying to find out if any other woman had enjoyed such a lengthy unbroken stint as their nation's No.1.
A four-time semi-finalist in Paris and runner-up in 2010, 33-year-old Stosur has been Aussie No.1 since taking over from Casey Dellacqua in October, 2008.
Daria Gavrilova threatened to leapfrog Stosur with her run to the quarter-finals last week in Rome.
But the 33-year-old former US Open champion stayed on track with a pair of storming 6-1 6-0 wins over Ying Ying Duan and Madison Brengle to reach the quarter-finals in Strasbourg after being given a wildcard.
Meanwhile, after becoming the first British man to top the rankings since 1973, world No.1 Andy Murray is in a wretched run of form ahead of the Frenc Open, which begins Sunday.
Murray ended last year with 24 consecutive wins, but since then he has made early exits at Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid in the worst start to a year by a world No.1 since Pete Sampras in 1999.
"The last few months have been difficult for sure," Murray said.
"I haven't played so well and I also had a few physical issues with my elbow around February, March time.
"So it's been a difficult few months. But over the last seven, eight years of my career I always wanted to perform at my best and play my best tennis at the Grand Slams and that's still the case now.
"I always feel extra motivation when I come to a slam, even if I've been playing badly. I'm excited to get out there and compete.
"Hopefully I'll get four or five good days of practice and preparation and I'll have a good tournament."
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