BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - Samantha Stosur's 2017 season looked to have finally got on track as she headed into her favorite and, arguably, most successful Slam of her career at Roland Garros. Stosur had just won her first title of the year, beating Daria Gavrilova in an all-Aussie final to win Strasbourg, and en route to the Round of 16 in Paris she had yet to lose a set.
Then the bad luck set in. Stosur tried to fight through the crushing pain in her right hand that had been developing, but eventually fell in three tight sets to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko, losing 6-4 in the decider. It wasn't until weeks later that Stosur learned she had a stress fracture in her hand, and she would not play a match again until September.
"A couple of weeks ago something was a bit funky feeling, but that's gone away now," Stosur told reporters. "So touch wood, it's all good. I don't think I have to worry about the fracture anymore, so I can go out and practice and hit without that fear of what's going to happen. So that's really nice to be coming into the year feeling pretty much 100%."
Stosur returned to the tour at the Tokyo International and did not get a win until the China Open. From there, she scored a confidence-boosting 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Agnieszka Radwanska at the Hong Kong Open to end her year. She finished the season ranked No.41.
"I probably didn't feel right until maybe Wuhan. Those first couple of weeks I was a bit hesitant and not really used to swinging properly. It took a couple of weeks to get that trust and then the achiness went away the more I got into it. Pretty much from Wuhan I felt yes, I'm on the court, I'm not thinking about that anymore, and I can just play tennis and that's all I need to worry about."
Healthy again and ready to attack the new season, Stosur joined the WTA Insider Podcast ahead of the Brisbane International to reflect on her frustrating 2017 season and how her injury aftermath gave her a possible glimpse into the future.
Listen to Stosur's full interview on the newest episode of the Insider Podcast below: