Her injured wrist passed its first French Open test, and Australia’s most accomplished clay-courtier is adamant she hasn’t been forced to holster her dangerous double-fisted backhand.
Former French Open runner-up and two-time semi-finalist Samantha Stosur had to dig deep to progress on day three, downing Japanese world No.42 Misaki Doi 6-2 4-6 6-3 over two days.
Stosur and men’s 20th seed Bernard Tomic secured safe passage through the first round at Roland Garros on Tuesday, while four compatriots fell by the wayside.
The pair join 17th seed Nick Krygios and wildcard Jordan Thompson in giving Australia a four-strong contingent in the second round.
Among the vanquished were Sam Groth, who won just three games in a brutal first-round clash with nine-time champion Rafael Nadal, John Millman, Daria Gavrilova and Arina Rodionova.
Victory didn’t come easily for Stosur, who admitted to feeling nervous once down a break in the decisive third set.
But after battling through a lengthy service game for a vital hold, she managed to rattle off six of the final seven games to ice the win.
Stosur hit just one backhand winner in the three-set victory, but insists she didn’t shelve arguably her most dangerous asset for fear of aggravating the injury.
“No, no – if I want to hit my backhand, I’m hitting it,” she said.
“It’s out of my mind when I’m on the court which is a good thing.
“(The wrist) was fine. Touch wood it will stay that way.
“I’m really pleased with the last two days, the way it’s felt.
“I’ve got to stay on top of it. I’m not going to leave anything to chance as far as that goes.”
Stosur had no complaints over being forced to play a match which spanned two days because of rain delays and poor light, nor was she concerned about backing up for her second-round fixture on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old will have played on three consecutive days, an unusual occurrence at a grand slam, when she takes on doubles partner Shuai Zhang – who has been on court at similar times to Stosur.
“I don’t think there’s an advantage or disadvantage for either one of us at this time,” Stosur said.
“It is a quick turnaround compared to normal grand slams, but if you look at it like a normal event that’s kind of what it feels like right now.”
Gavrilova found herself trading breaks with Duque-Marino throughout their her 5-7 6-4 6-4 loss, and will rue letting opportunities slip in the second set.
The Russian-born starlet’s return of six break points would’ve been enough to win in straight sets on most other days, but the 21-year-old’s serve let her down and she was broken seven times.
Gavrilova won 57 per cent of points on her first serve – a figure which dropped to 39 per cent when Duque-Marino got a look at her second serve.