French Open: Samantha Stosur battles past Lucie Safarova

Before their match today in Roland Garros, Samantha Stosur and Lucie Safarova had met on 14 previous occasions, with Safarova holding an overwhelming 11-3 record against the Aussie.

With all but one of their previous matches being tightly contested, the match today promised to be one of high quality tennis. The match lived up to the expectations with both players fighting right until the end to pick up the victory. In the end it was Stosur who edged Safarova after around two hours and twenty-five minutes.

Stosur gets the decisive break

Stosur and Safarova both started the set off strongly with a hold of serve to love each. In the third game, Stosur looked undeterred by any nerves as she stepped up to the service line for the second time and held to love once again. The first break point chances came in the fourth game and were for Stosur. Unfortunatly for the Australian, Safarova managed to fight off all three of the chances before going on to eventually win the game and keep the set on serve.

After Safarova's slight scare during her service game, both players then went on to comfortably hold the serves. With Stosur and Safarova winning their service games with relative ease it looked like the set was heading towards a tie break. This was up until the eigth game, where Stosur found a way to get past Safarova.

Stosur raced to a 15-40 lead during Safarova's service game and this time around, the Australian did not faulter when it came to taking her chance to break. Stosur took the game on the first time of asking, giving herself a lead at the perfect time in the set. With the break of serve under her belt, Stosur stepped up to the service line knowing that if she held her serve she would win the first set.

Safarova was not willing to lose the set without a fight. Last year's finalist worked herself into a position to break Stosur back straight away and keep herself in the set. Safarova was left disappointed as Stosur upped her game to save both of Safarova's break point chances before going on to take the set at the first time of asking.

Stosur during the match. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Stosur during the match. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Safarova levels the score after winning the tiebreak

The disappointment of losing the first set clearly motivated Safarova. After a strong hold of service in the opening game of the set, Safarova then went on to pick up an early break. The Czech had to bide her time as Stosur fought off two break point chances before gifting Safarova a third. It was a case of third time lucky for Safarova as she capitalized on the opportunity to break and give herself an early lead in the set.

In the third game, Safarova consolidated the break to give herself a 3-0 lead. Stosur eventually got herself on the board in the fourth game, as she impressively held her serve to love once again. The Australian was soon back level in the set, as she broke Safarova on the first time of asking before going on to back the break up by winning her next service game.

The remainder of the set, went the way of the player who was serving. Safarova had a chance to break Stosur in the eigth game, however, Stosur managed to prevent the Czech from taking the opportunity. With the score at 6-6 a tiebreak was needed to decide on who would win the set.

Safarova had to win the tiebreak to keep herself in the match and Stosur needed to win the tie break to take the match and put herself into the fourth round of the tournament. In the end it was Safarova who won the tie breaker. The Czech raced through the tie break with ease, hitting some impressive shots a long the way. Stosur could do nothing to stop Safarova from taking the tiebreaker without dropping a point and levelling the score in the match.

Safarova raced through the tie break without dropping a single point. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Safarova raced through the tie break without dropping a single point. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Stosur edges battling Safarova

Just like what Safarova did in the second set, Stosur bounced back from losing a set by going three game ahead in the set straight after. The Australian continued to win her service games with relative ease whilst picking up a break along the way. In the second game of the set, Stosur raced to a 0-40 lead and despite Safarova battling hard and saving one of the break points, there was nothing the Czech could do to prevent Stosur from taking the game on the second time of asking.

Safarova got herself onto the scoreboard in the fourth game to keep herself just one break behind her opponent. The Czech soon found herself level in the set, as she utilized her fourth break point chance to break Stosur and put the match back on serve. Both players then continued to show why there had been so few breaks in the match, as they both won their service games confidently.

It looked like the third set was going to be decided by a tiebreak, this was until the twelfth game. With Safarova serving to keep herself in the match, Stosur capitalized on the Czech's nerves to pick up a break. Stosur raced through the game with some big hitting, which allowed her to take the game, set and match with her first opportunity.

After a closely fought battle, which could have gone in either direction it was Stosur who eventually picked up the victory. The Australian progresses into the fourth round where she will face Simona Halep.

Stosur celebrates her win. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Stosur celebrates her win. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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