Sam Stosur, the last remaining Australian in the Women’s Singles in Paris, stunned #11 seed Lucie Safarova in a three-set thriller.
Veteran Stosur, who is competing in the French Open despite a left wrist injury, dumped the Czech 6-3 6-7(0) 7-5.
The #21 seed enjoyed a strong build-up to Roland Garros that included a semi-final run in the Madrid Open and runner-up at Prague to Safarova.
She injured her wrist during the Strasbourg tournament, a few days before the Grand Slam, forced to withdrew at the quarter-final stage. And the last time she entered a major injured became a 1st Round casualty, but after her disaster in this year’s Australian Open the Queenslander didn’t repeat her early exit in Paris.
Safarova, who had beaten Stosur in 11 of their previous 14 meetings, got off to a sluggish start and lost the opening set without much of a fight.
Safarova’s talents shone from time to time in the second set, and after the contest was forced to a tie-break the Czech’s quality overpowered lacklustre Stosur without dropping a point.
The plucky Aussie bounced back to carve a 4-1 but a rousing comeback from Safarova saw the result on a knife-edge when it reached 5-5.
But Stosur made what proved to be a crucial break that propelled her to a 7-5 victory to set up a 4th Round showdown against Romanian ace Simona Halep.
For Stosur this win was more rewarding that the last time Safarova was her opponent, the Czech forced to withdraw ahead of their scheduled Madrid Open showdown.