Eight-time Grand Slam champion Sam Stosur predicts a successful period in Australian tennis.
There are currently eight Australians in the world’s top 100 in singles – and another two in the top 110.
Aleksandar Vukic is here the last to break into the elite top 100following in the footsteps of Max Purcell earlier this year.
Great Australian Sam Stosur expects even more people to join them soon.
“I’m sure all the players are looking at what Max and Aleks Vukic have done and trying to get in with them,” Stosur said.
The numbers aren’t as significant in women’s singles, with Ajla Tomljanovic, the single Australian currently ranked in the top 100 in the world. However, there are six positions in the top 160 in the world.
Tomljanovic and Daria Saville are currently out due to injury, leaving world No. 111 Kimberly Birrell as possibly the only Australian in the women’s singles draw at this year’s Roland Garros.
This number may still increase, with four Australian women advanced to the second round of the qualifying competition in Paris. This is the second such incident since 1995.
“It’s not perfect, of course you want more players in the (main) draw,” said Stosur.
“Hopefully we can qualify some girls so there will be more.”
However, Stosur is adamant that there is no cause for concern, predicting the success of Australian women.
“It’s all cyclical. It circulates in cycles,” Stosur said. “Next year we could have 10 (women playing at Roland Garros) and then this whole year will be forgotten. It comes and goes, really.”
Australia currently boasts five girls in the top 100 of the junior world rankings. This includes world No. 21 Emerson Jones, the highest ranked 14-year-old in the world.
Stosur believes 25-year-old Birrell is nearing her breakthrough into the top 100 on the WTA Tour, which could inspire a rapid resurgence in Australian women.
“Success breeds success,” said Stosur.
“There’s a group that’s been around 130, 150 for a while and they’re always pushing, but they can’t make the next jump.
“I think when they get to 100 points, right where they know they’ll be in the grand slam main draws, just one or two games is enough to completely change their schedule, year and see what is absolutely possible.”
The Roland Garros main draw begins on Sunday, May 28.
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