Stosur only looking forward at Wimbledon
Chuffed but relieved to have finally survived a round, Samantha Stosur has already moved on to her next Wimbledon challenge on Wednesday.
Stosur considers her 6-1 6-3 dispatch of Carla Suarez Navarro among her best grasscourt performances in years, but is refusing to rest on her laurels ahead of a testing second-round clash with exciting Dutch youngster Arantxa Rus.
The 21-year-old former Australian Open junior champion is at last starting to live up to expectations in the senior ranks, climbing to a career-high No.71 in the world after reaching the last 16 of the French Open this month.
The left-hander’s wide-angled slice serve away from Stosur’s backhand is sure to trouble Australia’s fifth seed.
“The grass obviously makes it maybe a little more difficult on that return,” Stosur said.
“You’ve just got to be aware that the ball is going to slide the other way and maybe almost cover that a little bit more until you see which way they like to go.
“But it’s fine. I’ll do whatever I can to play my game.”
Stosur certainly dictated Suarez Navarro in her opening match, clubbing 19 cold-blooded winners to register her first win at the All England Club since 2009.
“Yeah, it’s a bit of a relief – and excitement really,” Stosur said.
“It was good to come out and not only did I win, but I thought I played very well and that’s just as pleasing as winning the match.”
With her modest record at Wimbledon tempering expectations this year, Stosur believes keeping her nerve could be the key to sneaking through the draw.
“I’m trying to keep more relaxed about it, not get uptight about it,” she said.
“You know ‘oh, I can’t do this or I feel like I’m not doing that well enough’, or any of that.
“So just try and go out there and enjoy it. I mean, it’s a pretty simple thing to say, but it’s not always easy for me to do here and I think today I was able to do that and just stay calm.
“I really played controlled but aggressive … I’ve kind of lacked that here in the past.”
Victory over Rus would equal Stosur’s best result at Wimbledon in 10 campaigns and have the US Open champion on course for a last-16 showdown with 2011 French Open winner Li Na, the 11th seed.
Stosur is the only Australian in action on Wednesday after Anastasia Rodionova, Jarmila Gajdosova and Marinko Matosevic all crashed out in the first round.
Rodionova predictably went down 6-2 6-3 to world No.1 Maria Sharapova, but Gajdosova disappointed in a 6-4 6-3 loss to Ayumi Morita.
Gajdosova’s straight-sets defeat followed a first-round Australian Open loss this year and second-round exit at Roland Garros.
This time last year, Gajdosova was at a career-high No.25 in the world, but she’s down to 76th following her grand slam run of outs in 2012.
Matosevic’s Wimbledon debut ended in a 6-2 6-2 7-5 loss to Belgian veteran Xavier Malisse.© AAP 2013
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