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November 1, 2016
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. (Through translation.) One question for you. So your performance for the second half of this year was less than satisfactory and there were concerns about your future trend. Can you talk about this?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it's been a disappointing second half of the year for me, no doubt.
But, yeah, for whatever reason, it's been -- my results have not been very good. I've changed coaches. I've been looking for a new coach. I think a lot of these changes that I've been trying to make and then find replacements, then it makes things very hard when you're away at tournaments not to have consistency.
So I think this is probably a big reason maybe why. Obviously I need to pick up my form and start to win some more matches.
Q. Yesterday Zhang Shuai joked in the ceremony, draw ceremony, that the first player I pick is Sam. How can you explain that? I think Chinese fans appreciate your friendship to her. You're Grand Slam champion.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yep.
Q. Could you remember the first time you meet with her? Can you tell us how your friendship develop in years?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, we met many years ago, I think maybe 2009 or 2010, something like this.
I remember we practiced together at a tournament in Charleston. She had a little bit of an Australian connection with a past coach. Her coach was coached by an Australian man.
Yeah, we just met and always got along really well. I think they appreciated the way that I played and liked my style. Over the years we just practice a lot together. We go out for dinner sometimes together.
Yeah, we're good friends. Makes it fun to see people like her at the tournaments every week, and now especially she's doing very well. So it's nice to see her really come back from I guess a disappointment at this time last year to now find herself back in the top 30.
I think she's probably at her career-high, so very exciting for her.
Q. However, in the draw ceremony she put you in the same group with the top seed. Could you please talk about your draw?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, obviously playing with Konta and Garcia in my group it's not going to be easy to get through. I think my group is going to be difficult.
I mean, there are only three people. You're going to have to win I think both matches to guarantee yourself to qualify obviously.
Jo, I guess she was in Singapore last week as a reserve, so she's been constantly playing and had a great year. Going to be a difficult first match, but I'm ready to go. It's a good test to test yourself against I guess the highest-ranked player here.
Q. Even though you said second half of year is disappointing, you're guaranteed the highest year-end ranking in the past three years.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Uh-huh.
Q. You're 32; is that something you're proud of?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I was actually just trying to remember what my year-end rankings were the last few years. If this is my best one since then, that's obviously a positive.
I know that I still have some improvement that I can make with my game, and every day that I go out to practice I'm trying to do just that.
Yeah, even though it's been a little bit disappointing, it's still a good position to be in. Hopefully I can really build on all this for next year. No matter what happens here this week, I just want to try and play well.
Hopefully that results in some wins of matches, but really just try and get myself ready for next year and find that good level of tennis again.
Q. And even looking ahead to next season, knowing you made your first Grand Slam semifinal in a couple of years, how much confidence does that give you going into 2017 knowing you made a Grand Slam semifinal and can compete at the highest level of the game?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, look, it's definitely motivating to know that this year I did make a semi in a slam. Obviously I feel like if I can keep trying to improve, yeah, and find that form again, then there is no reason why I can't do that again. It is good.
Like I said before, since then it hasn't been fantastic, my results. I feel like I'm kind of getting myself back on track and ready to go again for 2017.
So I think it's important to find a good level of consistency so that week in, week out, you're right there. Obviously some weeks you're going to have a really great one and maybe occasionally you'll have a poor one.
If you can find a good middle ground, there is always a chance to really step up. Confidence plays a big role I think in tennis. You can have a not-so-good time and have a good week or two and find yourself playing very well and full of confidence.
Like I said, that really helps.
Q. Curious what you make of this format. It's not a traditional round robin, but you're still guaranteed two matches. Are you just looking forward to getting those two matches in? How do you strategize going into this tournament?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Probably not a whole lot of strategy. You have to win otherwise you're not going to go anywhere.
Look, it is obviously different having such small groups, but it's not bad. You know that you're coming here and you get at least two. Maybe if you win one it's depending how things fall, you still might make it through to the semis.
So, I think it keeps it very exciting. As the days go on you start to see who has a very good chance and who doesn't. Every match counts for something. No matter what. Maybe you can't get to the semis. It still means something to play that match and try and win it.
I think that keeps the idea of playing well and competing hard -- everyone is going to do that every single match. I think that makes it exciting for the fans.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports