Samantha Stosur has urged compatriot Ashleigh Barty to back herself on clay as the Australian looks to go further deep into the second slam of the year. The 23-year-old has quickly emerged as one of the top contenders at the French Open with defending champion Simona Halep the only higher-ranked player left in her path to a maiden grand slam final.
Seasoned campaigner Stosur has had really good results on clay, reaching one final and three more semis at Roland Garros. Both players have been raised on grass courts and playing on clay is a different ball game all together.
But Stosur mastered the red dirt and believes that Barty can do the same. “Ash is a very good player and as the years are going on she’s realising she can play on any surface,” Stosur, who lost in the second round, said.
“Maybe a few years ago it was bit of a ’whatever, we’ll see how it goes, I’m looking forward to the grass’. But now it’s like ’you’re top 10, you can threaten anywhere’”.
No Australian has won a French Open since Margaret Court claimed her fifth in 1973 and Stosur is really hoping that Barty wins Roland Garros. “I’d like to think she’s got a very good chance,” she said. “We all know how well Ash can play - if she keeps believing in herself, why not”.