Stosur: Babos loss not concerning
She's on a three-match losing streak and fell to her first-round US Open opponent recently in Cincinnati, yet Sam Stosur is confident ahead of her 12th campaign at Flushing Meadows.
Despite her US Open first-round opponent being the player who dealt her a defeat in her most recent match, Sam Stosur nonetheless feels confident approaching the year’s final Grand Slam event.
The world No.22 faces Timea Babos in her opening-round match, just two weeks after the Hungarian ousted Stosur in three sets in the first round at Cincinnati.
The defeat means Stosur has not played a competitive match in almost a fortnight heading into New York.
Yet she says she’s as ready as she’ll ever be for her 12th US Open campaign.
“It’s kinda funny the way it works out, getting to play Babos again – she’s the last person that I played. So it’s a good opportunity to try and get out there and probably change a couple of things that I did from that match, and see how it goes,” she said.
“(In that match) I played well and she played very well, and that’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s not the result that you ultimately want, but I certainly didn’t leave that tournament thinking I have to re-invent the wheel and change all these things that are going on. It’s a match.”
Stosur actually comes into the tournament on a three-match losing streak; after falling in the semifinals in Washington DC, she exited in the first round at WTA Premier events in Toronto and Cincinnati.
Last year, the Australian sought a New Haven wildcard in the week before the US Open in a bid for valuable match practice, and was rewarded with a semifinal finish.
Although considering that option again this time around, Stosur ultimately decided against it.
“I chose not to because I wanted to take a break; I’d been on the go since Eastbourne and had like three days off since that time, and I just felt like going home and refreshing and training,” she admitted.
“I feel good. I obviously didn’t play as many matches the last couple of weeks as I did the couple of weeks before that, but if you look at it on the whole I’ve had some really good time on court and I spent five days training in Tampa before coming here on Wednesday night.”
Her return to New York inevitably evokes memories of her famous run to the 2011 title, where she stunned Serena Williams to win her first Grand Slam singles title.
With Williams gunning for an historic calendar-year Grand Slam, Stosur holds the distinction of being the last player to beat Serena at Flushing Meadows.
Yet while those memories are decidedly pleasant ones, Stosur says they count for little in 2015.
“It’s always exciting coming back to New York, especially since 2011. You arrive at the airport and you land and it’s just completely different to where you’ve just been, so you certainly feel that vibe and buzz around the city, and it’s great to come back,” she said.
“A lot’s happened since then – it’s four years ago now – and it doesn’t help me win my first match on Tuesday. It’s a nice thing to have in the back of your mind but at the end of the day you’ve got to focus on the here and now.”
Stosur believes a win over Babos presents a wealth of opportunities.
Not only would it avenge her Cincinnati loss, but it would get the ball rolling for her after navigating the first round, a stage which she says “99 per cent of the draw” would find notoriously difficult.
“I do feel like I tend to play better once I’ve got a bit of that momentum,” she said.
“Even if the first round is a bit scratchy, if you can get through that somehow things can change very quickly in tennis and sometimes it doesn’t take much to boost that confidence and make things a whole lot easier and a bit more fluid.
“I’m definitely expecting a tough match. I lost to her last time, I have to change some things that I did, hopefully I can do that, and we’ll go from there.”