Sam Stosur in action during her first-round victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Madrid; Getty Images

Madrid: Sam gains revenge on Pavlyuchenkova

MADRID, Reuters – A powerhouse serving display has helped Sam Stosur through to the second round of the Madrid Open.

While compatriot Daria Gavrilova exited in quick fashion after a straight-sets loss to world No.2 Caroline Wozniacki, Stosur stayed for the long-haul in her defeat of 27th ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Stosur downed the Russian 6-1 6-7 (7-2) 6-3 in just under two hours, a win highlighted by 15 aces.

It was an impressive effort by Stosur on her favourite surface as she looks to fine tune her game for the French Open, where she was a finalist in 2010.

The 34 year-old, down to No.57 in the world, raced through the first set and appeared well on her way to an early finish with three break point opportunities in the second.

But none of those were converted and despite eight aces and the loss of just six points on serve during the set, the Australian found herself at a set apiece after a loose tiebreaker.

Stosur squandered an early break in the decider but took charge again, breaking Pavlyuchenkova in the eighth game and then serving out the match.

It was her first victory over the Russian since 2013; she’d lost their last three meetings but after Sunday’s victory evened the head-to-head series at 4-4.

A potential second round match-up with 2017 US Open champion and ninth seed Sloane Stephens looms.