Sam’s date with Muguruza
GARBINE Muguruza stands between Sam Stosur and the glories of the French Open’s second week and the Australian knows nothing less than sustained excellence will suffice.
As one of the strongest players in tennis, Stosur knows controlled aggression is generally the recipe to grand slam success.
But the US Open champion also concedes third seed Muguruza has oodles of power — and is never afraid to use it.
The last time the pair clashed in Paris, Stosur was steamrolled 6-2, 6-4 in 2016.
A tighter encounter in Brisbane last year and the Spaniard’s comparatively mediocre form heading into Roland Garros has left Stosur optimistic she can derail the Wimbledon champion.
“It’s going to be tough and she obviously plays very well here,” Stosur said.
“She likes it here as well and she’s been in the top 10 for a very long time. It’s certainly going to be a tough match-up for me but I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“She hits the ball very hard, flat and deep and I do remember in that match she was hitting really good returns, really close to the baseline, which straightaway puts me on the back foot.
“So I think serving is going to be key, not that that’s too dissimilar to any other day.
“And I guess just trying to combat her pace of shot so I’m going to have to be aggressive as well.”
Seeded third, Muguruza wants to atone for last season’s exit at the hands of Kristina Mladenovic — and not to panic as she occasionally does.
ON FIRE: Samantha Stosur in second-round action. Picture: GETTY