Samantha Stosur sets tennis sights on Wimbledon
An upbeat Samantha Stosur launches her grasscourt campaign this week believing “all is possible” despite her galling Wimbledon record of only five wins from 14 matches.
AN upbeat Samantha Stosur launches her grasscourt campaign this week believing “all is possible” despite her galling Wimbledon record of only five wins from 14 matches.
World No.5 Stosur feels she has put her deflating French Open semi-final loss to Sara Errani behind her and she’s now intent on rectifying one of the biggest anomalies in tennis – just one third-round appearance in nine trips to Wimbledon.
The US Open champion’s dreadful strike rate at the spiritual home of tennis flies in the face of not only her awesome power game, but also three semi-final appearances in the past four years at the traditional warm-up event at Eastbourne.
Hence why Stosur opted this year to prepare for the grasscourt major in the Netherlands, where she’s top seed and up against a qualifier in the opening round.
“It’s funny, I’ve always had good lead-ups at Eastbourne and then got to Wimbledon and not done too well. I still don’t have the answer for why,” Stosur told AAP.
“So I’m in S-hertogenbosch instead, trying something different. I think it’s really about just getting to Wimbledon and not letting that frustration set in.
“Maybe by the time I get to Wimbledon there’s been a bit more expectation on myself because the lead-up’s gone well and I should be able to carry on. Then it doesn’t happen.
“So I’m trying to go in there with a better mindset this year and stay positive – and what have I got to lose? Nothing.
“I’ve got no rankings points to defend, so I certainly don’t have to think about that. I should be able to go in there and just play and not worry about anything else.”
The 28-year-old insists she’s no longer worrying about her shock loss to Errani at Roland Garros when a second final in Paris in three years beckoned.
“The couple of days after were pretty rough,” Stosur said.
“Especially when I was still in Paris and I went out and was walking around and you see the women’s final on TV and I didn’t want to look at that too much.
“Yeah, it was disappointing and everything else but now a week later I’m trying to look at it as a very good tournament. The semis is still a pretty good result and a hell of an improvement on the Australian Open.
“So overall I’m feeling pretty good about it now.”
Stosur’s coach David Taylor is also backing his charge to bounce back quickly and make a long overdue run at the All England Club.
“She needs to believe all is possible for her on grass and that she possesses enough adequate weapons in her arsenal to trouble anyone,” Taylor said.
His positive reinforcement has clearly penetrated Stosur’s sometimes vulnerable mind.
“There’s no doubt I can do it because I’ve had all those good (Wimbledon) lead-ups in the past,” she said.
Stosur is joined in the Wimbledon singles draw by countrywomen Jarmila Gajdosova, Anastasia Rodionova and Casey Dellacqua.
Bernard Tomic, who has recovered from the virus that forced his retirement from Halle last week, former champion Lleyton Hewitt, Matt Ebden and Marinko Matosevic are in the men’s event.
Another seven Australians will attempt to make the main draw through qualifying starting on Monday. - AAP