If Hannah James’ theory is correct – that bad things really do happen in threes – then the teenager was always going to find Junior Wimbledon a difficult tournament.
The 18-year-old from Kings Norton, Britain’s third ranked youngster behind Laura Robson and Heather Watson, arrived for her first and final crack at the Girls Singles title with little in the way of form.
Beaten in the first round at the French Open, the second at the AEGON Junior International at Roehampton and once again in the first at SW19, the former Edgbaston High School student will hope her unhappy hat-trick is complete.
Yet as disappointed as James was by those defeats, she at least has the consolation of knowing the search for reasons won’t prove too difficult.
Indeed another trio of mishaps more than adequately explains why the youngster wasn’t able to make more of an impression on the Parisian clay or the grass of home.
“Earlier this year I punctured a ligament in my wrist,” James explained.
“I was at Bisham Abbey doing my schoolwork on the internet and fell of my chair. As I fell I put my hands out in front of me and jammed the joint. It wasn’t good, I was in real pain.
“I felt it shoot up my thumb and thought nothing of it. I am a tough girl, I like to pay through it and win through injury.
“But this one was a big thing, I just could not pick up a racket or lift my hand or anything.”
What followed was a six week lay-off, as frustrating a break as James has ever known, particularly as it came soon after she had travelled to South East Asia and made consecutive quarter finals in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
It was, however, not the end of the story. “The next day I fell down stairs and the next week I hit myself in the eye with a door,” James continued.
“Those two weeks were the worst of my life. I am not a clumsy person, but these things come in threes.”
All of which means James was just happy to be playing at all at Roland Garros and at the All England Club.
Her International Tennis Federation ranking of 39 is also high enough for her to complete the set of four Majors at Flushing Meadow in September, an event for which she will be much better prepared.
That, in turn, will make her much better placed to avoid the Wimbledon whitewash of a 6-2, 6-2 defeat handed down by Junior French Open finalist Daria Gavrilova in round one or the 6-3, 6-2 reverse in the girls doubles.
“I am disappointed about Wimbledon but two months ago I was devastated and in bits knowing I would not be able to play for a month,” she said.
“Then when you come back from injury you know have a disadvantage on all the other girls. On home ground you want to perform but you know what – I am here and that’s what counts”.
She will take that positive attitude with her on to the senior circuit over the next couple of months.
Tournaments in Felixstowe and Frinton beckon in July, before a two-month training block that will put her in the perfect position to make it fourth time lucky at the US Open.