Samantha Stosur is refusing to look beyond her next match after bossing her way into the third round of an increasingly inviting French Open draw with a claycourt masterclass in Paris.
Mixing awesome firepower with sublime touch, Australia’s big title hope outclassed Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 7-6 (8/6), in one hour and 33 minutes on Wednesday.
Flipkins had beaten Stosur before on grass, but it was obvious from the very first point that the Belgian would not cope with the Australian’s brutal, high-spinning groundstrokes on the European red dirt.
The impressive victory vaulted Stosur into the last 32 at Roland Garros for the ninth-straight year and extended the former runner-up’s winning streak on the surface to seven matches.
The 23rd seed will face Bethanie Mattek-Sands after the American qualifier ousted two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) in the Czech’s emotional comeback to tennis.
Kvitova was the tournament’s sentimental favourite as she made her way back after she was attacked by a knife-wielding intruder in her home late last year.
Stosur hailed the comeback as “remarkable”.
“I bumped into her, gave her a big hug and said ‘I’m really pleased you’re back’,” Stosur said.
“I think it’s incredible she’s recovered this quickly and was able to play here.”
Kvitova said, despite the second-round exit, that the comeback was a success.
“I was surprised how I played, even though I lost,” she told reporters.
“I feel good. I did not have as much time to prepare as I wanted, but I feel good and happy that I am back.”
“In the coming weeks it will be business as usual, focusing on the tennis and improving my game.
“I did not have any expectations here. I came here for my comeback. The mission is completed and I am happy.”
Stosur’s quarter of the draw had already opened up with the shock first-round exit of world number one Angelique Kerber and it has since become even more promising after Kvitova’s departure.
“To be honest, I still haven’t seen the draw. I obviously know that Petra just lost and now I play Bethanie,” Stosur said.
“But, look, I’ve got to play my next opponent no matter who it is. I know Bethanie is going to be tough as well.
“She’s in the third round, so she’s obviously playing well.”