(May 29, 2013) American Jamie Hampton stunned the 25th seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(5), 3-6, 9-7 on Wednesday in the first round of the French Open. Hampton rallied after Safarova served for the match at 7-6 in the third set.
For Hampton, it’s her first career French Open match win. Despite 50 unforced errors, she put seven aces past the Czech in the 2 1/2-hour match.
“Lucie is a very tough competitor and she stayed a really even keep throughout the match, I was kinda like this emotionally,” Hampton said.
“She’s a really great shot maker as well and I think everyone saw that, especially at the end.
“I’m just happy to come through with the win and have my first Roland-Garros main draw win.”
Hampton moves into the second round to join nine other U.S. women in advanced that far. Fifteen U.S. women began the tournament in the singles draw.
“I mean a couple of years ago, we weren’t even in the same there wasn’t even a group of us,” Hampton said about the strides American women are making in tennis these days.
“We’ve progressed, and I think the whole group will continue to progress, and we’ve all got really good games.
“We’re just trying to find our way on the clay right now.”
Hampton admits that she is still finding her way on clay.
“It’s tougher,” Hampton said.
“The American style is a little more powerful and a little less patience and it’s tough to translate that from hard to clay.
“It’s definitely doable – I just think it takes a lot of determination, a lot of patience in general.”
Hampton continued: “I think my game has more dimensions than other players so it gives me a few more options even clay is not my best surface, or it’s not my favorite, or you know if it’s annoying me, if I am not hitting one shot great I can go to a plan b.”
The 23 year-old Hampton has moved up in the rankings from 70th in the beginning of the year to No. 54 after making WTA Tour semifinals at Auckland and Brussels.
She severely tested Victoria Azarenka in the third round of this past Australian Open extending the eventual Australian Open Champion to three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Hampton injured her back during that match. She says that her injury has been better since Australia.
“The trainers have done a really good job of keeping me in one piece, “Hampton said.
She’ll face qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia for a place in the third round.
Ros Satar and Karen Pestaina contributed to this report.