Stosur confident ahead of Fed Cup
A modest summer showing hasn't dented Sam Stosur's confidence as she prepares to lead Australia into battle against fierce Fed Cup rivals Germany this weekend.
A modest summer showing hasn’t dented Sam Stosur’s confidence as she prepares to lead Australia into battle against fierce Fed Cup rivals Germany this weekend.
Alicia Molik’s side faces the 2014 runners-up in a first round World Group hardcourt tie in Stuttgart from Saturday, their third meeting of the past four years.
The Germans triumphed in last year’s semifinal in Brisbane but Stosur believes Australia enter this year’s tournament in better shape with three players ranked inside the top 60.
“I don’t think we’ve had a team this solid on the rankings for quite a while,” 25th-ranked Stosur told AAP.
“Being in the World Group, we’ve got as good a chance (of winning the title) as anyone in there for sure.”
None of Molik’s squad – Stosur, Casey Dellacqua (ranked 35th), Jarmila Gajdosova (54) or Olivia Rogowksa (157), – made it past the second round at last month’s Australian Open.
Stosur fell 6-4 6-4 in a second-round loss to red-hot American Coco Vandeweghe but left Australia convinced her game was in good shape.
“I think (in that form) Coco would have beaten many players to be honest,” Stosur said.
“I was actually pretty pleased with how I played and I don’t think there’s much more I could have done. It’s almost a bit easier to handle if your opponent plays well.”
Stosur admitted to feeling the difference between playing in the high-pressure environment in Australia and away from the spotlight overseas.
“But my expectation of what I want to achieve doesn’t change whether I’m in Australia or outside of it,” she said.
Stosur and her teammates will meet a German side brimming with singles talent in world No.10 Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic (12), Sabine Lisicki (28) and Australian Open surprise packet Julia Goerges (69).
But the away assignment in freezing Stuttgart holds no fear for Australia, who triumphed there on clay in 2012 to secure a return to the competition’s top tier.
“Playing them is always tough whether it’s here or in Australia,” Stosur said of Germany, which lost to the Petra Kvitova-led Czech Republic in last year’s title decider.
“But it’s not an easy one for them either and I think we are pretty evenly matched teams at this point.”