PARIS, FRANCE (Sporting Alert) — US Open champion Samantha Stosur started her hunt for the French Open title with a straight set victory over British number one Elena Baltacha on Sunday.
The Australian Stosur recorded a 6-4 6-0 first-round win, in what turned out to be a comfortable victory over the Briton star in the end.
The sixth-seed is staying relax ahead of what is expected to be a very tough tournament, but has vowed to do whatever possible to put Australia back at the center stage of the tournament agains.
“You hit on the centre court here and you see the flags of the four finalists from the previous year,” said the 2010 runner-up to Francesco Schiavone at Roland Garros.
“Last year the Aussie flag was there. This year it’s not. I want the Aussie flag back up there – and as the winner, not the runner-up.”
Baltacha, who was only facing Stosur for the second time in her career, following the defeat on the Eastbourne grass two years ago, revealed that she had anticipated a difficult game and admits to her struggles during the game.
“I knew it was going to be a difficult match,” she said. “I knew as well that if I played really well, maybe she had a bit of an off day, then potentially maybe I would have had a chance (but) I knew I would have to play a very, very big match.
“First set I felt like I was kind of in it; obviously I crawled my way back to 5-4.
“I didn’t particularly play a great service game, but then you’ve got to remember that I did play one of the best clay-court players in the world so it was a big ask.
“Then she went up a couple of levels, a couple of gears, and she was just too good in the second set. She played unbelievable in the second set. She really let loose.”
Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova also picked up a win today, following a comfortable 6-1 6-3 win over Croatian Mirjana Lucic.
Others who will be in action on the opening day are American Venus Williams, who has been hit by a series of injuries in recent times – but is back to take on Paula Ormaechea of Argentina and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia plays Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino of Spain on the women’s side.
Amongst the men in action on Sunday is the No. 5 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France who will take on Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.
Several superstars, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will all be resting on opening day of action at Roland Garros.