EXCLUSIVE: Stosur facing two months out

Published by Leigh Rogers

Sam Stosur cut a dejected figure during her fourth-round loss to Jelena Ostapenko at Roland Garros, during which she struggled with a hand injury; Getty Images

Australian star Sam Stosur has confirmed speculation that she will miss Wimbledon and revealed she could be sidelined for up to two months.

The 33-year-old received the bad news after consulting doctors in Melbourne today, where she was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her right hand.

“It happened during the French (Open) and since then I’ve literally done nothing. It is still pretty sore and swollen, so until that goes down I can’t do too much with it,” she said.

“It is highly likely I may not be able to play again until August, so (recovery could take) a good eight or nine weeks.”

Stosur has not missed a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2008, when she was sidelined with Lyme disease. Her withdrawal from Wimbledon, which begins on 3 July, snaps a streak of 37 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

“I had a pretty good run I guess, so I’ve got to look at it on the positive side, but certainly to miss any Slam is disappointing. Even Wimbledon, where sometimes I’ve struggled on the grass, it is still not a great feeling not to be there,” she said. “It’s disappointing no matter which way you look at it.”

Adding to the disappointment is her improved form when the injury occurred.

After winning her first WTA title in almost two years in Strasbourg in May, Stosur had reached the third round at the French Open for a ninth consecutive year.

The hand injury began hampering her game when she led eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko by a set in the fourth round.

“Everything was going really good. I played really well through Strasbourg and the start of Paris was great. I felt physically really good and was getting through my matches well, was feeling really confident,” she said.

“I definitely felt like things were getting better and better, then this just came out of nowhere which makes it even more frustrating because I was on a bit of a roll, and now not to be able to play kind of sucks.”

Watching world No.47-ranked Ostapenko win the French Open title also left Stosur questioning what could have been.

“No doubt with the way I was playing though the last few weeks, I could have had as good of a chance as anyone at Roland Garros to keep going,” she said. “You never know, but I did feel like I was in a really good position.”

Stosur’s remarkable run of 453 consecutive weeks as Australia’s top-ranked woman ended after the French Open, when she was overtaken by Daria Gavrilova.

The US Open 2011 champion is now ranked No.34, but remains the highest-ranked Australian on the WTA Tour’s Race to Singapore, which is based on ranking points earned in 2017, at No.21.

World No.13 David Goffin has also withdrawn from The Championships after sustaining an ankle injury at Roland Garros.

> READ MORE: Goffin withdraws from Wimbledon

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