ON TRACK: Australia's Samantha Stosur knows a French Open title is beckoning but she has to beat a big-hitting Latvian on Sunday first.
ON TRACK: Australia's Samantha Stosur knows a French Open title is beckoning but she has to beat a big-hitting Latvian on Sunday first. David Vincent

Stosur can sniff a French Open title

SAMANTHA Stosur knows the French Open women's title is up for grabs, but world No.47 Jelena Ostapenko is her next hurdle in her push for the last eight in Paris for the fifth time in eight years.

Stosur beat the Latvian in three sets in their only previous meeting, on a hard court at last year's Rio Olympics.

With grand slam heavyweights Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka not competing this year, and world No.1 Angelique Kerber bombing out in the first round, the draw is wide open.

Stosur, French titleholder Garbine Muguruza and 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova are the only other major winners remaining.

"

I think it's opportunity for the younger ones and the older ones. If you're still in it, then we're all in it to win it still," Stosur said.

"The more experienced players can kind of use that and know exactly what it takes to try and win a slam.

"And sometimes the young ones, they've got no fear.

"And sometimes they don't know what they don't know, so it's sometimes easier just to roll through and before you know it, you find yourself maybe holding the trophy.

"So I think it's a good opportunity for every single person left in the draw."

Stosur isn't taking Ostapenko for granted.

"She's young. She's really got nothing to lose," Stosur said.

"I know she hits the ball hard. She's pretty fiery and all that. So it's a match where I'm going to have to play aggressive.

"I know she's going to absolutely go for it and I'm going to have to play my style, and that's what I'm going to try and do."

Yet to drop a set this campaign, the 33-year-old knows the importance of pacing herself for a serious second-week assault on the French Open title.

"Being smart about how much you're doing on your days off and conserving your energy, if you are going to go right to the end, then that can play a big part," Stosur said.

If the 23rd seed Stosur beats Ostapenko, she will play either Kuznetsova or 11th-seeded former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki on Tuesday for a fifth trip to the Roland Garros semi-finals.

News Corp Australia


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