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Q&A with Sam Stosur


 

Originally published on: 12/07/13 00:00

After equalling her best performance at Wimbledon with a strong game, but ultimately falling to eventual runner-up Sabine Lisicki, Sam Stosur returns to action at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford later this month.

From there the Australian will compete at the WTA Premier 5 events in Toronto and Cincinnati in preparation for the US Open, where she is a former champion.

Stosur, who stunned Serena Williams to land her first maiden Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows in 2011, will arrive in New York bidding to regain the title from the woman she beat in the final two years ago.

We caught up with the women’s world No.13 as she turns her attention back to the hard courts in a bid to break back into the WTA Top Ten after struggling with a calf injury earlier in the year.

How easy is it for you to adapt to the hard courts after the European clay and grass-court seasons?
I think the change to hard courts is the easiest for me. Obviously playing on hard court my whole life – it feels very comfortable.

So are hard courts your favourite surface?
I don’t really have a favourite surface. I grew up playing on hard courts and have grown to love playing on clay as I got older.

What would you say is your greatest strength? And weakness?
I think my kick serve and my forehand are my greatest strengths. I need to become more consistent in my performances. I know that I can beat the best in the world but ideally would like to cut out some losses to lower-ranked players.

How long do you spent practising your serve?
I practise my serve every day but not for hours on end. My serve came quite naturally for me as a young girl but it is still something I need to keep working on as the players get more used to returning kick serves.

Why do you think more women don’t use the kick serve?
I think it is physically tougher for some of the women and if they are not able to really hit the kick serve very well, they have more success with a really effective slice serve. If the kick serve is not executed well, it tends to sit up and get whacked.

How did things change for you after winning the US Open?
Not too much changed, other than people saying hello and well done all the time. It was really nice to have so many people happy for my success. Things were a little hectic for a while with media and so on.

Which is your favourite Slam?
I think they are all fantastic in their own way. Australia is my home slam and the support I receive is amazing. The French holds so many special memories for me. Wimbledon is so special and being a former champion at the US Open is really amazing too.

What is your favourite non grand-slam event and why?
I think Charleston is a really beautiful event. The team who run it are incredibly hospitable and the fans really love to come and watch.

What is your favourite memory on a tennis court?
It is hard to go past my match against Serena at the US Open. That match was a dream come true on such a big occasion.

You were a talented athlete as a junior. What made you choose tennis?
I loved all sports but tennis was the sport that I wanted to do every day.  My brother and I played all the time and I knew from a young age that this is what I wanted.

Who was your favourite player growing up?
I loved both Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. They were the best and also competed so hard, yet in a sporting manner. I also went to watch them in the final of the Australian Open which is something I will never forget.

What is your favourite way to relax?
I love going to the beach, paddle boarding or just riding the waves. Going for a nice coffee and all the simple things that most people take for granted.

What’s your favourite city?
Sydney, but I also love Tokyo.

Who would be your three ideal dinner guests?
Steffi Graf, Rafael Nadal and Alicia Molik.

If you weren’t a tennis player, what would you be?
Tough one! I’m not too sure as since I was a young girl I wanted to be a player. Let’s say a chef!

Sam Stosur is an ASICS ambassador. If you have any questions for the ASICS experts, from technique to technology, email us at ask@tennishead.net. The best questions will be answered in the next issue of tennishead.

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