Stop slammin’ Sam: great backs Stosur
Samantha Stosur will be heartened by the staunch backing of one of Australia's tennis greats as she looks to reignite her summer at the Sydney International.
Heartened by the staunch backing of one of Australia’s tennis greats, Samantha Stosur has thumbed her nose at the critics as she looks to reignite her summer at the Sydney International.
Not for the first time, Stosur was urged to consult a sports psychologist after blowing a match point and 5-1 advantage in the third set of her season opener in Brisbane as the one-time US Open champion’s well-documented home struggles continue.
But facing a horror draw in Sydney, where eight of the world’s top 12 players are rounding out their Australian Open preparations, Stosur remains defiant.
Feeling good about her game and injury-free for the first time in years, Stosur insisted she had no plans to see any shrink or stray from her power game.
“Obviously there’s things I want to keep working at in my game,” said the world No.21.
“But I think that’s where you’ve got to focus on what you think you’ve got to work on and how you’re going to approach it and how you can do that with the team around you.
“I put a lot of trust in my coach (Simon Rea) and the other people in my team and that’s where you’ve got to be smart and really go down your path and not try and worry too much about what everyone else thinks about what you should be doing.
“It’s no secret my weapons are my serve and my forehand, so I’m always trying to make those bigger.
“Obviously (I) try and hide the weaknesses that I’ve got, but I’m not trying to reinvent my game.”
Two-time grand slam champion and former Australian Fed Cup captain Lesley Bowrey applauded Stosur for for sticking to her guns and pleaded with her doubters to stop slammin’ Sam.
“She’s a great player,” said the six-times grand slam finalist and dual French Open champion.
“I know a lot about Sam and she’s a great girl, so everyone should take the pressure off her and let her be.”
Her own hardest marker, Stosur maintained she wasn’t feeling any added pressure to deliver after failing in 12 attempts to progress beyond the fourth round at Melbourne Park.
“Look, I’ve really enjoyed my time playing here,” she said.
“Obviously Brisbane was a little bit disappointing but I thought I played a really good match and I don’t think it was a bad way to start the year, albeit being a tough loss.
“But I’m looking forward to trying to rectify that this week. I feel like I’ve been practising really well and just look forward to getting out there and playing some more matches.”
That will be easier said than done, though, with Stosur plucking her own name out of the draw on Saturday and admitting she could have fared better than an opener against Wimbledon semi-finalist Lucie Safarova.
Stosur has lost nine of her 11 career meetings with the Czech left-hander and world No.16.
“That’s going to be a tough one,” Stosur said.
“She’s got the better of me the last few matches so I’m certainly going to have to be ready to play and go hard because she’s a quality player.”