Sam Stosur slices a backhand en route to victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the third round at Roland Garros; Getty Images

Sam aiming for US hardcourt return

Sam Stosur says she’s hopeful of contesting some lead-up events to the US Open – as well as the year’s final Grand Slam event – as she continues to recover from a right-hand stress fracture.

Stosur, having begun some light hitting in Melbourne this week after putting down the racquets for several weeks, said she was entered in the Cincinnati Masters field and was also hopeful of playing in New Haven.

> view Sam’s playing schedule

“I hit again on Monday (after trying and stopping recently) and yesterday but again it’s just like 20 minutes, just feeding, mostly backhands, and slowly starting to work up,” she said on Wednesday.

“It’s been pretty good but it’s a little sore today so I’m gonna take today off and go at it again tomorrow. (I’m) still on the eight-year-old kids’ balls with low compression (laughter) so it’s pretty easy. This wouldn’t even qualify as a hit normally, but it’s a start.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to know why (the stress fracture) happened, and why then – normally with a stress fracture, it’s because of a big spike in load, or you change something that’s pretty obvious … But I haven’t changed anything. I played quite a few matches (before the injury struck) but not more than what I’ve been able to do in other parts of my career. Just a bit of bad luck.

“It’s just frustrating because it’s not like there’s a whole lot of literature around it and you know, OK, this has happened and it’s going to take x-amount of time (to recover).

“It’s just hard to say (exactly when I’ll return). If I feel ready (to fly to the US), yes, definitely. I really really want to play, but I want to make sure I’m ready to play. I can only do what I can do day to day.”

The injury struck during Roland Garros, an unfortunate turn of events given she’d built up some great momentum with the title in Strasbourg and was riding an eight-match winning streak before succumbing in the fourth round to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Stosur admitted that the timing and effect of the injury had been devastating.

“It’d been getting worse for three days (before the Ostapenko match) but at 4-1, 5-1 in the first set I was like, Oh no, this is not good,” she revealed.

“I just kept on going and I thought if she doesn’t know that I’m hurt, I might just sneak through this match (laughter) … but even if I’d won there’s no way I could’ve played the next day.

“The next few days after that I was pretty gutted because I really felt like it was a good opportunity and to be in that position – and then she goes on to win the tournament a week later – I was like, Oh, you never know … It’s not a guarantee by any means but I did feel like I was in a good position.”