Stosur: best match in months
Despite producing periods of faultless play on Sunday, Sam Stosur was beaten 2-6 7-6(3) 6-4 by world No.8 Petra Kvitova, handing the Czechs a Fed Cup victory.
Not lost, beaten.
That’s Sam Stosur’s assessment of her unsuccessful Fed Cup campaign which put the Czech Republic into the semifinals of the women’s team competition and left Australia to face a play-off to remain in the World Group.
Stosur was unable to capitalise on chapters of faultless play on Sunday, beaten 2-6 7-6(3) 6-4 by world No.8 Petra Kvitova.
“It’s probably one of the better matches I’ve played in a few months,” Stosur told AAP.
The world No.9 arrived at the eastern Czech city of Ostrava with a poor 2013 record including an early elimination from the Australian Open.
Results from the weekend’s tie will show another two losses for Stosur, but the Queenslander believes she was instead beaten.
“I think that’s a pretty fair statement.”
“I’m not too far away and it’s just a matter of ‘keep on going’ and really using a match like today to drive myself and try and turn all this around.”
Appearing on court with a heavily-strapped strained right thigh, Stosur took an early break in Sunday’s first set and was assisted by a raft of Kvitova double faults.
Games went for and against serve in the second set until Stosur missed a match point at 5-4 as Kvitova drove a fast, deep second serve at the Australian.
A double fault from Stosur and an ace from the Czech in the ensuing tie break gave the set to the home team.
In the third set Kvitova quickly raced to a 5-0 lead, but Stosur’s trademark serve came to the rescue.
“At 5-0 I thought ‘what have I got to lose? Nothing.’ And just kept trying to play the way I was trying to play the whole match and it started working again,” she said.
However, after clawing back to 5-4 Stosur couldn’t hold on.
“Overall I think I served quite well,” Stosur said.
Kvitova said she was expecting a tough challenge, despite the Australian having been defeated on Saturday by Czech Lucie Safarova.
“I knew how I had to play and that I had to play aggressively,” Kvitova said.
“After losing the first set and then (there was) the match point, it was quite tough on me but I never give up, I’m trying to fight until the end and that was the key for me.”
The result handed the Czech team an unassailable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five match tie.
In Saturday’s opening match, Kvitova beat Australian Jarmila Gajdosova.
Australia now faces an April playoff to remain in the top eight group, while the Czechs progress to the semifinal and are hoping to achieve a Cup treble.