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Stosur yet to crack the grass

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Originally published on: 19/06/12 00:00

Sam Stosur may be a Grand Slam champion, but the 28-year-old Australian is prone to the odd early exit – particularly on grass.

Beaten in the first round in Sydney and Melbourne already this year, on Monday she fell to Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens in her opening match on the lawns in 's-Hertogenbosch, just seven days before Wimbledon.

But the Queenslander, who reached her third French Open semi-final at Roland Garros just over a week ago, is not fazed by her 7-6(7) 6-3 defeat to the world No.262.

“Overall I was quite happy with the way I played,” she said. “It wasn’t anything too disastrous. It’s a matter of going out there again tomorrow and practising hard.

“Just fine-tuning a few important points and that can make the difference.”

Though three times a finalist in the doubles and a champion in the mixed, Stosur has never been beyond the third round in singles at the All England Club. The lawns nullify the high-bouncing kick on her second serve – arguably the strongest on the women’s tour – which has played a part in Stosur falling in the first round on five of her nine appearances in South West London, including on her last two visits. In 2010, she fell to world No.80 Kaia Kanepi in straight sets, before losing to then-world No.262 Melinda Czink 6-3 6-4 in her opening clash at Wimbledon last year.

In another puzzling statistic, Stosur has won just three WTA titles in her career. She won the Osaka crown in 2009, Charleston in 2010 and the US Open in 2011 with victory over Serena Williams.

Beaten in the third round by Ana Ivanovic at Wimbledon in 2009, Stosur has gone better at every other slam, having reached the fourth round in Melbourne, the 2010 French Open final and winning in New York.

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