Tomic, Stosur through to French 2nd round

Tomic, Stosur through to French 2nd round

Samantha Stosur is through to the French Open second round following a gutsy third-set fightback, while Bernard Tomic became the third Australian male first-round victor at Roland Garros this week.

Stosur, who held a one-set lead in her match before bad light stopped play on Monday, fought back from a break down in the third set to win five-straight games en route to a stirring 6-2 4-6 6-3 victory.

The former runner-up and two-time semi-finalist, who carried a left wrist injury into the claycourt grand slam, will face either China’s Shuai Zhang or Kazakh Galina Voskoboeva.

Meanwhile, despite declaring “I suck on clay” in the lead-up to his first-round match, Tomic looked assured as he closed out the straight sets victory over lowly-ranked American Brian Baker 6-3 6-4 6-4.

The win, just his third at Roland Garros from seven campaigns, matches Tomic’s best ever return at his least-suited grand slam and puts him through to the second round, joining 17th seed Nick Kyrgios and wildcard Jordan Thompson.

Tomic will now face Croatian teenager Borna Coric.

The 23-year-old saved all but one of the nine break point opportunities he offered Baker, and was efficient in converting four of the seven which fell his way to take the advantage in each set.

Tomic’s claycourt season had left much to be desired, with the 20th seed going winless through four matches, but that mattered for little as he pushed Baker around the court on Tuesday.

Earlier, Arina Rodionova became the first Australian casualty of the tournament, losing to Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh 6-2 6-3 in 62 minutes.

Rodionova was broken twice in the first set as Konjuh raced to a 5-1 lead inside 20 minutes, with the Australian making seven unforced errors while hitting just four winners.

Rodionova made her young opponent work harder in the second set, fighting through a seven-minute opening game to hold serve, but conceded the crucial break in the seventh game to go down 4-3 as Konjuh motored to victory with another break.

Still to come in first-round action on Tuesday are John Millman, Sam Groth and Daria Gavrilova.

Millman is locked at a set-apiece with 15th seed John Isner in a match held over from Monday due to poor weather and bad light, while Groth faces the enormous task of taking down nine-times champion Rafael Nadal and Gavrilova takes on Colombian claycourt specialist Mariana Duque-Marino.

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