Stosur storms past Puig in Paris opener
UPDATE: Sam Stosur put aside a freak accident to begin her French Open campaign in style, storming into the second round with a 6-1 6-1 win over Puerto Rican Monica Puig.
Sam Stosur overcame a bloody training injury that required five stitches and two days off the court to get her French Open campaign off to a superb start.
Australia’s top-ranked tennis player opened with a 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Puerto Rican Monica Puig on Monday.
The win looked impressive enough on face value but the 19th seed revealed it came just four days after a freak accident she briefly feared could prematurely end her tournament.
Stosur was taken to hospital with a deep cut on her left shin after slipping while doing ‘box jumps’ in the Roland Garros gym on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t know what I had done. I thought it was really bad,” Stosur said.
“So I saw everything flashing before my eyes. But when I went to the hospital and the doctor stitched me up, he said I would be fine. That was reassuring but I guess you don’t know until you have a couple of days go by.”
Asked how much blood there was, Stosur said “enough for me not to want to do it again”.
Playing with heavy strapping and padding on her lower left leg, it clearly didn’t impede Stosur as she demolished the in-form Puig in just 58 minutes in cool, damp conditions.
Stosur was confident the injury wouldn’t pose a problem going forward as she looks to bounce back from a recent Grand Slam slump.#
“I took two days off (training) and then I hit late on the third day, but since I started hitting there has been no problem,” she said.
“(The padding) is simply because I obviously don’t want to affect anything and hit myself or do anything silly.”
Stosur became the first Australian through to the second round while teenager Ash Barty and men’s qualifier James Duckworth were first round casualties on Monday.
Barty fell 6-2 6-1 to French 20th seed Alize Cornet, while Duckworth lost to Argentine Leo Mayer 5-7 6-2 6-4 7-6(2).
Stosur will next face 38th-ranked Austrian Yvonne Meusburger, a fellow 30-year-old who she has never played on tour.
The Australian hasn’t been past the third round of a Grand Slam since 2012 and going deep into the draw will be difficult with Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova and the past two French Open champions – Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova – all in her quarter of the draw.
Still, the early signs are strong after Stosur produced arguably her best performance of the season against a player who claimed a WTA title on clay in Strasbourg on Saturday.
“Right from the first game to the last game … I thought it was really solid,” Stosur said.