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January 20, 2015

Samantha Stosur


S. STOSUR/M. Niculescu
6-4, 6-1
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations, second set in particular. A little bit more on your game. Fair assessment?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, probably. I think start of the match was quite tense from both of us. You know, playing against Monica it's very different tennis. I think there was a lot of balls where there was no pace and I was really having to generate a lot of what was going on. If you're a little bit tight at the start of a match, then it can be very tricky. But I think as the match went on I got more and more used to it and realized what was really working for me. Yeah, once you get up that set you kind of loosen up a little bit, then it was good. But she's definitely a very tricky opponent. It's very easy to go out there and beat yourself against her when she's forcing you to do certain things that maybe are a little bit uncomfortable.

Q. With her lack of pace did that mean your weapon was going to be your power game?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, but sometimes when you got to generate all that yourself it can be very tricky. I was obviously in control of most of the rallies going on out there, but I had to be patient to make sure I worked the point enough before I'd come in. You can't always go to the side you think is weaker. Just being a bit smarter about things rather than making quick decisions and trying to end points too quickly.

Q. As a spectator experience, it's odd to watch the way she plays. What about playing against her?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, look, it's different. Nobody plays like her on tour. We've played each other a few times, not for a little while. I knew what to expect. But again, you're not facing that kind of play regularly. It does take a little bit of time to get yourself into it. Look, she's made a very good career out of playing that way. You got to beat her. She's not going to give you free points. You got to go out there and really, like I said before, work the points and make sure you're doing what you need to do to get on top of rallies and hopefully finish them off.

Q. There was a turning point of that ninth game in the first set it was 4-All, you had to two break points, third break point you got it, then served for the set. She didn't win the serve in the second set.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think as that first set was going on, I realized obviously what was going on and then that game I tried to maybe come a little bit more forward into the court. I wasn't trying to hit winners of the return but just trying to start the point. It didn't really seem to matter what kind of shot I hit on my return, I was getting that same kind of reply. Just wanted to get into those rallies and then work the point, use my forehand and really make her feel under pressure with doing what she was doing.

Q. When you found out you had her in the draw, did you think first round you want to get through and then you have an unorthodox player to add to the tension for you?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, I didn't see the draw, I didn't freak out about it. I knew it was going to be a little bit different. But tried to prepare as best I could. I think I was able to do that quite well.

Q. What sort of virtue do you have to bring? Is it patience the most important thing? Being aggressive when you can?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think patience is probably a good start. Yeah, balls can be slow, but if she's hitting a slice forehand and it's this high off the ground and getting back towards deep in the baseline, you got to be patient. You got to go for another one and another one and wait for that right time to come in. I thought I did a good job today of moving forward and every kind of opportunity I had to kind of come into the net and force her to do something different. I thought I did that well. You got to be patient, you got to be aggressive, but yeah, you can't make rash decisions and try and end points too quickly, that's for sure.

Q. How does Simon's slice forehand prepare you for...
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well he's a lefty, so he can just keep hitting slice backhands. Probably good for him, but, yeah, he probably hit a few too short. Need to get them a bit deeper now looking into it.

Q. If a player is easygoing introverted off the court, does it make it harder to have that killer instinct on the court?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't know. Maybe. I guess you don't outwardly show it. A lot of players you see the whole, Rah, rah and all that a bit more. I think everybody has got their ways of being the competitor that they are. Some you see it really easily and some you don't. Yeah, maybe it is a little bit harder if you're that way inclined off the court to then turn into this aggressive and fierce kind of looking person on the court.

Q. You obviously made two Grand Slam finals, one US Open title. How much does it drive you to have at least one great performance at an Australian Open?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, I would love to do well here. I guess having the results I've had in other slams I proved to myself that I can go deep in these tournaments and play well and beat a lot of the best players in the world. So I think that's obviously a good thing to know. Doesn't necessarily help me much today when I go out and play my first round. But, look, the possibilities are there. Obviously I want to try and do as best I can here in Australia. If I can get results like that here like I have overseas, then, yeah, I would walk away leaving Melbourne pretty happy.

Q. Know anything about CoCo or Francesca?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it's going to be a very different match to today no matter who I play. CoCo has one of the biggest serves on tour. Doesn't really hold back on any shot, whether it's serve or groundstrokes. She's a big girl. She has lots of power. You got to kind of combat that with what you got to do. That's hard. There's not going to be too many long rallies playing her. Francesca works the spin a lot and completely kind of different. It's going to be hard. Last time I played CoCo I lost to Miami in a really long, late match. Obviously I played Schiaves a bunch of times. Yeah, we'll wait and see who wins and make a plan.

Q. (Question regarding Simon.)
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, we'll see. Being a lefty is not really going to help me, but I'm sure we can work it out.

Q. We heard Matosevic say he feels like it's a golden age for Australian tennis. Would you agree?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think it's really fantastic. Yesterday was an unbelievable day here with how many Aussies got through and great matches. Having so many of us in the draw at the moment is I guess maybe a bit different from the last two, three years. Yeah, I think it's really exciting. There is obviously those young guys coming up, and I'm hopeful there will be more girls in coming years. Look, I think we're in a really good spot, and obviously we're all trying hard to keep getting to the top of world tennis, not just Australian tennis.

Q. How much of a role do you play with the 16, 17 year old crop?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: The men's side?

Q. Women's side.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: It's hard when I'm not here in Australia that much. A lot of those girls are probably based in Brisbane at the moment and I'm now in Sydney. It's unfortunate I'm down there and they've all kind of gone there. You try and keep tabs on what's going on. I will certainly look at what's happening in the junior draws and all that. You see them at the junior slams and all that kind of thing. I guess it's hard to be too involved, but you certainly keep an eye out for who is playing and what's been going on.

Q. Any standing out for you? Any names that you have actually been able to see them in action and been really impressed with?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I haven't seen many of them play. I was down in Melbourne a little bit training, but not so much during the showdown when they were all out on court. Kim Barrows [ph] has been out there, she played at Brisbane, Pricilla Hahn, Nathan Byrnes [ph] they're all out there. Yeah, probably been more from the inside rather than being out on court seeing them play.
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