aussie tennis

Sam Stosur defeats Sloane Stephens to set up quarterfinal meeting against Dominika Cibulkova

By Melinda Samson, Special for Tennis Grandstand

Prior to Sunday’s fourth round match at Roland Garros, Sam Stosur had never played against 19-year-old, 70th ranked Sloane Stephens from America. Like Stosur, Stephens had not lost a set during her first three matches. But unlike Stosur, this was the first time Stephens had made it through to the second week of a grand slam.

Originally scheduled to be the final match played on Court Philippe Chatrier, the match was moved to Court 1 due to long running men’s matches, meaning a much smaller crowd and less intense atmosphere.

The first set started steadily with Stephens taking the first break during Stosur’s fourth service game at 4-3. She held the break until Stosur, broke back to level the score at 5-5. Stosur then held serve and went on to break Stephens again, aided by Stephens’ double fault on set point, to win the set 7-5.

Stosur came out firing at the start of the second set, quickly getting a double break to lead 5-1. But then nerves seemed to creep in as Stosur twice failed to serve out the match and Stephens was able to win the next three games. With the score line at 5-4, Stosur broke Stephens’ serve to close out the set at 6-4, winning the match in 1h 23m.

After the match Stosur commented on Stephens’ pressure during her post-match press conference:

“She came out playing very aggressive and kind of got me off guard. I went down that break and got a little bit mad with myself and then recomposed and yeah, really tough to come back from 5-3.”

Stosur’s win puts her through to the Roland Garros quarter finals for the third time in the last four years. She will play 15th seed Dominika Cibulka of Slovakia, who upset world world number one and Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka in straight sets earlier in the day.

Keep an eye out for talented Stephens in the future, especially at the French Open as clay is her favourite surface.

Follow Tennis Grandstand for updates on all the Australian players’ progress throughout the main draw of the French Open.

Melinda Samson is attending Roland Garros and will be writing updates on Australian players through their trek of the tennis world’s second slam. She also manages the website Grand Slam Gal and is attempting to do the fan version of a tennis grand slam in 2012. Follow her on Twitter for further live updates @GrandSlamGal.

Sam Stosur slams through to fourth round of Roland Garros without dropping a set

By Melinda Samson, Special for Tennis Grandstand

Given that 27th seed Nadia Petrova holds a 5-2 winning record over 6th seed Sam Stosur, and both players have reached the semi finals or further at Roland Garros in past years, their third round match had potential to be tough, long and tense.

But that was not to be. They have never played on clay before and Stosur was in control from the start, seeming determined that this wouldn’t be a repeat of their three hour and 16 minute record-breaking match at last year’s US Open.

Stosur broke Petrova’s first and second service games for a fast 4-0 lead. Petrova broke back in the next game but Stosur was able to hold one break and serve out the set at 6-3.

In the second set, Petrova double faulted away her second service game, to give Stosur a break which she held, despite Petrova having three opportunities to get the break back. Stosur then clinched the match on Petrova’s serve, winning the second set 6-3 to impressively take victory in 1 hour and 8 minutes.

Stosur, looking strong and confident, has now improved on last year’s third round exit from Roland Garros, and will play Sloane Stephens in the fourth round.

Stosur is the only remaining Australian player in the singles draw, after Bernard Tomic and Jarmila Gajdosova lost their second round matches in straight sets, Tomic to Giraldo Santiago and Gajdosova to Caroline Wozniacki.

Follow Tennis Grandstand for updates on all the Australian players’ progress throughout the main draw of the French Open.

Melinda Samson is attending Roland Garros and will be writing updates on Australian players through their trek of the tennis world’s second slam. She also manages the website Grand Slam Gal and is attempting to do the fan version of a tennis grand slam in 2012. Follow her on Twitter for further live updates @GrandSlamGal.

Stosur powers past Falconi into the third round of Roland Garros

By Melinda Samson, Special for Tennis Grandstand

Number six seed Sam Stosur powered past Irina Falconi in straight sets to set up a third round match against Nadia Petrova.

Stosur broke Falconi’s first and second service games to comfortably win the first set 6-1 in 25 minutes. During the second set, both players held serve until Stosur broke in the fifth game, a break that she held to win the set 6-4 in 38 minutes. Although she double faulted on the first match point, and Falconi was able to get a few break point opportunities during the match, Stosur looked powerful and in control.

Update on Aussie action from Round 1: Tomic and Gajdosova through to 2nd Round

It was perfect weather for tennis on the opening Sunday of Roland Garros as Stosur kicked off the first match on Court Philippe Chatrier, serving up a strong performance to beat British No.1 Elena Baltacha 6-4, 6-0.

After taking only an hour to complete the match, Stosur left the court smiling and looking relaxed.

Stosur and her supporters will be hoping the stunning weather continues, which it has so far.

“If it’s not sunny, it plays dead. If it’s sunny, it’s great for Sam,” commented Stosur’s coach David Taylor.

Casey Dellacqua won the first set against 21st seed Italian Sara Errani before losing in three sets. Likewise Anastasia Rodinova lost to French player Mathilde Johannson in a tough three set match.

Despite his will to win and the support of the crowd, Lleyton Hewitt lost in four sets to Slovenian qualifier Blaz Kavcic. Hewitt plays next on grass as a wildcard recipient at Queens.

Matthew Ebden lost his first ever match at Roland Garros in four sets, to German 24th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.

After the match Ebden took a positive approach on his Facebook page:

“Played a good match today and improved lots of things but couldnt quite get there Phillip served and played very well. Quite disappointed of course but excited with all the improvements I have to make.”

Bernard Tomic had more success, achieving his first ever win at Roland Garros by defeating Austrian qualifier Andreas Haider-Maurer in three sets. Tomic plays Santiago Giraldo in the 2nd round.

Although wild card recipient Ashleigh Barty was beaten by Wimbldeon champion Petra Kvitova in straight sets in less than an hour, the sixteen year old gained a lot from the experience, tweeting:

“Tough day yesterday. Was a great experience to play Petra on such a big occasion! I’ve learnt a lot and can’t wait to play again next here (hopefully :)

Jarmila Gajdosova progressed through the draw after Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova retired in the second set due to a spine injury. Gajdosova plays number nine seed Caroline Wozniaki in the 3rd round.

Follow Tennis Grandstand for updates on all the Australian players’ progress throughout the main draw of the French Open.

Melinda Samson is attending Roland Garros and will be writing updates on Australian players through their trek of the tennis world’s second slam. She also manages the website Grand Slam Gal and is attempting to do the fan version of a tennis grand slam in 2012. Follow her on Twitter for further live updates @GrandSlamGal.