Stosur bombs out in Sydney second round
Samantha Stosur will again take little form of note into the Australian Open after being knocked out of the Sydney International in straight sets on Tuesday.
Samantha Stosur will again take little form of note into the Australian Open after being dumped from the second round of the Sydney International in straight sets on Tuesday.
The Australian, who has typically struggled under the weight of expectation each local summer, succumbed to 25th-ranked Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 in ideal conditions at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.
After battling her way back from a break in the first set, Stosur couldn’t keep up the pace against the Czech, losing a forgettable tiebreak before quickly falling behind 3-0 in the second set.
Following a first-round loss in Brisbane, Stosur has just the one win before next week’s Australian Open.
It’s a situation she is well used to.
Between 2009 and 2013, Stosur was victorious in a total of five matches before the Australian Open. Last year’s three-win semi-final run in Hobart was a better performance but in a relatively weak field.
Her best performance at Melbourne Park came when she made the fourth round in 2006 and 2010.
A wry Stosur admitted she had a habit of starting years poorly but finishing them quite well, offering a potential solution to her woes.
“I don’t know. Maybe I need to make up a tournament in December and play a few matches and pretend that they’re real,” she said.
“No, look, it’s just one of those things. Some people can turn it on really quickly and others take a little bit to get going. I’m certainly not feeling like it’s all run away from me this summer by any means.”
Stosur said she will now head to Melbourne with “lots to to work on” with coach Simon Rea.
Zahlavova Strycova, meanwhile, will now take on defending champion Tsevtana Pironkova, who is on a 13-match winning streak in Sydney after again battling her way through qualifying.
Pironkova won a remarkable eight matches and took out three top 10 players on the way to her breakthrough title here last year but, with a high-quality field, could not make the main draw in 2015.
The Bulgarian moved through to the last eight when opponent Madison Keys retired in the second set of their clash.
The tournament also lost its top women’s seed on Tuesday when Romania’s Simona Halep withdrew with gastroenteritis, allowing Karolina Pliskova an easy path into the quarter-finals, where she’ll play another of the day’s winners, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.
Other winners included up-and-coming Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, a surprise 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victor over third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.’s seed on Tuesday when Romania’s Simona Halep withdrew with gastroenteritis, allowing Karolina Pliskova an easy path into the quarter-final where she’ll play another of the day’s winners, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.
Other winners included up and coming Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, a surprise 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victor over third seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.