Sam scores first win since injury
BEIJING, Reuters – Australia’s Sam Stosur is back in the winners’ circle with a win in Beijing’s China Open, snapping a three-tournament losing streak.
The former top-five player missed this year’s Wimbledon and US Open, where she is a former champion, because of a nagging right hand injury.
She returned to the WTA Tour for its Asian leg following New York but lost in the first rounds of Guangzhou, Tokyo and Wuhan in the past three weeks.
However, the 33 year-old, now ranked No.44, scored a straight-sets win over world No.47 Katerina Siniakova from the Czech Republic, triumphing 6-3 6-2 in Beijing on Sunday.
“I’m really happy and relieved,” Stosur said. “Overall I thought I did most things really well, it was nice to get through.
“It’s always good to start well, but that’s one thing I have done pretty well in all my last three matches on this (Asian) trip. So once I did that and was able to win that first set, I knew I had to knuckle down at the start of the second and not let her get a roll on.”
She now moves into a second-round match up with newly-crowned French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, the ninth seed.
“I definitely feel like the pressure is on her. I can go out there and have nothing to lose,” Stosur said.
“It’s definitely a different situation and dynamic to the last time we played at Roland Garros and at the Olympics last year, so I think it is a good match-up for me.”
Perhaps Stosur can pick the brains of fellow Australian Ash Barty, who beat the Latvian in the semifinals of the Wuhan Open last week.
In earlier results, Australia’s Daria Gavrilova beat Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 7-5 7-5 to join Stosur in the second round.