Stosur’s separation fear in tennis comeback

Sam Stosur has admitted she is “worried” about the prospect of entering a bubble and leaving her partner and baby daughter in Australia for up to four-and-a-half months as she rejoins the WTA tour amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stosur will miss the upcoming French Open as she finalises her “slow-going” recovery from a heel injury, but it hasn’t stopped her plotting her return to the court.

The world No.63 is planning to get back on the road after a sojourn from tennis last year as international travel and competition was rocked by the pandemic.

It wasn’t the worst of breaks, as she was able to spend time with her partner Liz Astling and their daughter Genevieve, who was born last June.

Now, just as she’s publicly acknowledged her partner and sexuality for the first time after becoming a new mum, Stosur spoke candidly about the tough reality she’s facing in having to leave them behind.

“I don’t know [how I’m going to cope]. I’m worried about it,” Stosur told 2GB’s tennis expert Craig Gabriel in an exclusive interview for Wide World of Sports.

“It’s going to be very different. I haven’t experienced this real bubble life yet. This is my first trip overseas in a long time, but it is what it is. You’ve got to deal with it; get used to it.

“It’s going to be very, very hard getting on that flight leaving home, but I’ve made the decision to go. I want to go away and compete and play again and that’s just the way it is.”

Stosur said she won’t come back after the Olympics as that would see her miss too many WTA events in America, and she is planning to stay overseas until the end of the US Open in September.

“I’ll be away for four to four-and-a-half months. It cuts out the whole US summer if you come home after the Olympics. So the plan is to stay away until then, but obviously if things change or depending how things are going, you can always jump on a plane,” she said.

“But it makes it pretty tough to play anything afterwards before the next four to six weeks.”

Stosur is hopeful her partner and then one-year-old may be able to go to the US and join her on tour, but with the pandemic still rife overseas, it’s not something she wants to risk if it’s not safe, even if that extends their time apart.

“I don’t [want to be away for four months] that’s the problem. There’s a slim chance they might be able to fly over to the States. We will play that by ear and see how we are all travelling and see how it is over there,” Stosur said.

“First and foremost I don’t want to put Evie in an environment where it’s potentially not good for her or puts her at any risk.

“It’s so good for us here in Australia and you can live pretty well at the moment, so as long as it won’t be bad for her then maybe that is a possibility. We’ll just have to address that as it gets a bit closer.”

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