Stosur set for Zhuhai
Sam Stosur is expecting to contest the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, China and will aim to finish her season on a stronger note if she gets there.
Sam Stosur looks likely to secure a berth at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, China.
The 12-player, $2.2 million event follows on from the WTA Finals in Singapore and is open to players ranked from nine to 19, as well as a wildcard.
Compatriot Daria Gavrilova could also make an appearance; depending on the health and commitment of players ranked ahead of her, the Victorian, now ranked 24th, is only a few spots away from a spot in the tournament.
Last year, withdrawals plagued the inaugural edition, with then 26th-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova the last player directly accepted into the draw.
Stosur is currently the world No.20, but with the now No.9-ranked Kuznetsova qualifying for Singapore after Serena Williams’ withdrawal and the 12th-ranked Victoria Azarenka out for the rest of the season due to pregnancy, the Australian moves up two places and into the field.
“I’m planning on going – I’m still practising. But it’s not confirmed until all the tournaments are done,” Stosur said.
“It’s one last tournament. Just go for it. I know I’ve got two matches at least because it’s round-robin. You know that you’re going to have to play well because you’re playing people in the top 20 in the world. You’ve got to go out there and compete hard.
“I’d just like to try and finish (the season) on a better note … even if I don’t end up winning a match at least be feeling like I’ve taken a step forward from what I did in Asia.”
Stosur did not win a match during the Asian swing after the US Open, falling in straight sets in the opening rounds of tournaments in Wuhan, Beijing and Hong Kong.
She lost to the surging Caroline Wozniacki in Wuhan before falling to friend and local favourite Zhang Shuai at the China Open. In Hong Kong, Nao Hibino got the better of her.
“It’s funny, because I think this year through China and everything, I went with one of my better, more positive attitudes about being there and I was ready and I was excited to go,” Stosur said.
“I’d had that disappointment through the US; at the US Open I thought I was playing good enough to do well there (she fell in the second round to Zhang), so I was kind of keen to get going again and for whatever reason, I just couldn’t put it together during the matches.
“I played Woz first round in Wuhan which wasn’t the easiest – she’d just won Tokyo. But then every week I was practising really well, I was motivated, was doing everything I needed to do and then was getting onto the match courts and not following through with everything I’d been doing prior.
“So that was really disappointing and difficult to swallow.
“I’ve had a few niggles – my shoulder wasn’t great at the start of the (Asia) trip. But that’s turned a corner again now so I feel healthy and ready to be playing, so that’s a good thing.
“I guess you’ve just got to stick at it (for Zhuhai). I guess in some ways it’s frustrating because you feel like you’re ready to compete and do everything you need to and then you’re not doing that, but it’s better than practising poorly and not hitting the ball well and still having the same results.
“So I guess you’ve got to find a positive.”
The WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai will be staged on 1-6 November on hard court in China.
Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina and Roberta Vinci are already confirmed for the tournament.