Aussies in action: Stosur races against clock
Sam Stosur is racing against the clock to complete her Fed Cup duties in Switzerland before flying to Germany to open her campaign at the WTA event in Stuttgart.
The rain delayed Fed Cup tie in Switzerland has thrown Sam Stosur’s claycourt preparations into disarray, with the world No.9 racing against the clock to play for Australia ahead of her first round match in Stuttgart.
Stosur is entered into the WTA Premier event in Stuttgart as the No.6 seed where she is due to face in-form Serb Jelena Jankovic.
Last year, Stosur made the quarterfinals before losing an epic three-set battle to eventual champion Maria Sharapova.
But first, the Aussie No.1 is due to take on Swiss Stefanie Voegele and then Romina Oprandi in the reverse singles on a packed Monday schedule in Chiasso, with two days of play expected to be condensed into one.
“The positive is that Sam will be a seed there (in Stuttgart) so potentially I’m sure she may be able to play a day later,” said Australian Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik.
“I know that the ITF referees are always in contact with the WTA tour operators … they’re always good at accommodating everyone and making allowances.
“(But) I know there’s also a strike tomorrow with Lufthansa (airline) so there’s probably a few spanners in the works.”
Should Stosur make it to the indoor claycourt event in Germany, she faces a tough road – the highest seed in her quarter is No.4 seed Sara Errani, to whom she’s lost her last two matches.
The quality field in Stuttgart features seven of the world’s top 10.
Aussie Anastasia Rodionova was entered into the tournament’s qualifying draw, but fell at the opening hurdle to German Dinah Pfizenmaier.
Meanwhile, Stosur’s Fed Cup teammates Casey Dellacqua and Storm Sanders will stay on in Chiasso to contest an ITF $25,000 event at the same venue where the Australia v Switzerland tie is being staged.
On the men’s side, Bernard Tomic will continue his claycourt preparation at the ATP 500 event in Barcelona, a tournament headed by top seed David Ferrer and No.2 seed Rafael Nadal.
Tomic opens against France’s Kenny De Schepper, and should he win that match, a likely battle looms against No.7 seed Juan Monaco of Argentina.
Emerging young Aussie Matthew Barton unfortunately fell in the opening round of qualifying in the Spanish city.
Across in Bucharest, Romania, Aussie No.2 Marinko Matosevic will open his campaign at the ATP 250 claycourt event with a tough match-up against No.8 seed Viktor Troicki.
The top seeds at the event are Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia and Frenchman Gilles Simon.