Ajla Tomljanovic planned to pick Samantha Stosur’s brains in a bid to fashion a French Open upset over Angelique Kerber on Wednesday.
The two stablemates will continue Australia’s assault on the season’s second grand slam on day four, with Stosur an overwhelming favourite to see off lowly-ranked French qualifier Amandine Hesse and Tomljanovic a big underdog to stop the 11th-ranked Kerber.
But in Stosur, the former finalist and two-time semi-finalist, Tomljanovic has an important ally.
Stosur halted Kerber’s two-title, 11-match winning streak on clay in Madrid this month and Tomljanovic isn’t too proud not to lean on her for insights into how to beat the in-form German.
“No shame, I’d ask her. Definitely,” the unseeded Tomljanovic said after powering past fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua 6-2 6-2 in the first round.
“I’m not sure if she will say anything, but we’re starting to become friends so why not?
“I’ve never played Angelique but I’ve played Casey, a lefty, so I’m used to that.
“I’m expecting a tough match, obviously. She’s a great player, she’s seeded 11 and she’s been at the top for a while now.
“I’m really going to have to bring if if I want a chance on Wednesday.”
Stosur and Tomljanovic have been working together under David Taylor since Stosur reunited with her former long-time coach last month.
Stosur edged Tomljanovic in three sets in the quarter-finals last week in Strasboug and gives the world No.58 a shot of toppling Kerber.
“Ajla has the game that can beat lots of very good players,” Stosur said.
“It’s just a matter of doing it from start to finish and that’s why her ranking is where it is and can get higher if she can put it together.
“There is no doubt she has the game that can be hard to play against because she can make things happen off her own racquet.
“Someone like Angie, you have to do that. But you also have to continuously finish it off. She moves very well, runs well and will definitely make you earn it but I would definitely give Ajla a chance.”
Stosur, the 26th seed, plays Hesse, ranked No.272, in the first match on Court Suzanne Lenglen at 11am (7pm AEST).
With Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis scheduled to clash on Thursday, when Nick Kyrgios also resumes his challenge against young Brit Kyle Edmund, Daria Gavrilova is Australia’s only other player in singles action on Wednesday.
Gavrilova takes on Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki, the 20th seed, in the first match on Court 2.
Like the Croatian-born Tomjlanovic, Russian-born Gavrilova is playing under the Australian flag as she awaits citizenship.