Stosur win ends run of poor results for Aussies
A RELIEVED Samantha Stosur has ended Australia's dismal start to the French Open with a gritty first-round win over Kristina Kucova.
Sluggish early after a gruelling five-match run to the title in Strasbourg on Saturday, Stosur recovered from a service break down in the opening set to see off the Slovak 7-5 6-1 in one hour and 19 minutes.
The victory was the first for Australia's 11-strong singles contingent after first-up exits over the opening two days for Daria Gavrilova, Alja Tomljanovic, Jaimee Fourlis, Bernard Tomic, John Millman and Alex De Minaur.
Gavrilova was beaten by Belgian Elise Mertens 7-6 (4) 1-6 6-4.
"It wasn't, obviously, the easiest necessarily preparation going into a grand slam," Stosur said of her swift turnaround and one-day Paris build-up.
"But, on the other hand, winning a title and winning five matches in a row is awesome preparation.
"So I guess lucky that Strasbourg is pretty close and we all jumped on the same train together and got here as quickly as we could.
"But it was still definitely a very quick turnaround given the length and the toughness of the match I played against Dasha just on Saturday.
"But all in all, I'm really happy with the way I played today."
Stosur next faces Kirsten Flipkens - a 6-3 6-3 winner over Mandy Minella - for a place in the last 32, after advancing to the second round in Paris for the 11th consecutive year.