Stosur: Aussies will recover from Hopman Cupset
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:52
Sam Stosur is confident that she can bounce back from a shock Hopman Cup defeat to take hosts Australia through to Saturday’s final.
The hosts fell to a 2-1 defeat to Romania, with Lleyton Hewitt recovering from a 0-4 first-set deficit before claiming a 3-6 6-3 7-6(2) victory over Victor Hanescu.
But while the former world No.1 was impressive in his first match since October, Stosur slumped to a shock 3-6 6-4 6-3 defeat to 19-year-old world No.45 Sorana Cirstea.
“Anything can happen in a round robin”
“I actually started out playing really well but unfortunately couldn’t close out the match,” Stosur admitted after Romania clinched the tie 2-1 with a 7-5 6-1 win in the mixed doubles.
With only one team from the two four-nation groups qualifying for the final, Australia will need to beat both the US and Spain and hope results elsewhere go their way to finish top.
But Roland Garros semi-finalist Stosur is confident that an Aussie revival is within their reach.
“For sure – if we can win our next one, then you don’t know,” said Stosur, who will face American Melanie Oudin and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain in the other group stage singles matches. “Anything can happen in a round robin.”
In Sunday’s second Group A tie, Tommy Robredo and Martinez Sanchez gave Spain the perfect start with a 3-0 whitewash of American duo John Isner and Oudin.
Despite feeling the effects of her switch to the scorching conditions down under, Martinez Sanchez made light work of Oudin, stumbling when serving for the match at in the second set 5-2 but making no mistake at the second time of asking to post a 6-4 6-4 victory.
Robredo found the going a lot tougher against big-serving Isner, who went toe-to-toe with the grinder from the off and clinched an entertaining first set in style with a huge ace to seal the tiebreak.
Isner smashed down 16 aces in all, but Robredos greater all-round game eventually proved the difference between the two.
After securing the only break of the second set the Spaniard held out for a deciding tiebreak in the third, eventually prevailing 6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(4) to clinch the tie.
And the Spanish duo completed the sweep with a 6-4 7-5 victory in the mixed to top Group A as they chase Spain’s third Hopman Cup title.