May 27, 2015 / 10:37 AM / 4 years ago

Stosur swagger returns after reuniting with coach

PARIS (Reuters) - Sam Stosur’s decision to re-hire the coach who led her to grand-slam glory four years ago is paying off at the French Open, the Australian said after she blazed into the third round for the loss of one game.

Samantha Stosur of Australia plays a shot to Amandine Hesse of France during their women's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Stosur won the 2011 US Open and reached the 2010 final at Roland Garros under the guidance of David Taylor, and last month she and Taylor resumed their professional partnership.

The 26th seed beat French wildcard Amandine Hesse 6-0 6-1 on Wednesday to set up a meeting with defending champion Maria Sharapova.

“I think going back with Dave, that’s given me confidence,” Stosur, 31, told a news conference.

“It’s just been a very easy transition from when we first started again to now ... okay, yeah, get on the court, kind of back to what it was two years ago, knowing what I’ve got to be doing.

“It comes easily again now.”

Since leaving Taylor in 2013, Stosur worked with two other coaches but failed to reproduce the form that had sent her to fourth in the WTA rankings.

After a few weeks with Taylor, she is back to winning ways, and claimed the title at the Strasbourg International last weekend.

On Court Suzanne Lenglen on Wednesday, Stosur, who also reached the semi-finals on the Paris clay in 2009 and 2012, had too much power and pace for the 22-year-old Hesse.

The world number 272 was heading for a “double bagel” trailing 6-0 5-0, but a crosscourt volley saved her from that ignominy.

Stosur, however, ended the contest in the following game on her first match point with a forehand winner.

Things should get tougher in the next round, against Sharapova, who beat her in the fourth round last year.

“I think you’d probably say she’s one of the best competitors there is out there. She fights from the first point to the last point,” Stosur said.

“Doesn’t give much away, and, you know, when her back is against the wall she keeps swinging and going forward. She can make that ball on the line and then all of a sudden get herself back into it.

“She’s one of those players that you have to go at the whole time.”

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by John O'Brien and Stephen Wood

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