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January 2, 2017

Samantha Stosur

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


7-5, 6-7, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was a real toss-of-the-coin result, that one. Does it hurt more when it's that close?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, look, overall I'm actually really happy. I thought we both played really well. I'm really pleased with the way I played and competed and what I was able to do out there.

A loss is a loss, whether it's 5 in the third or straight sets. But, no, there's still, yeah, lots of positives to take out of today's match.

Q. What did you like about your play today?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I was really happy with my serve. It's something -- that's one shot I have really tried to spend a lot of time on working on, especially over this preseason, and it certainly last year wasn't doing what I wanted it to be doing.

I thought, yeah, I handled the pressure moments quite well on serve. She returns really well. She really crowds the baseline, and you've got to be really accurate with what you're doing. Given it's my first match in quite a while, I'm pleased obviously what I have been trying to work on and kind of focus on stood up today, and obviously you've got to do it again and again and again, but it's a good start.

Q. (Question about what coach said to her.)
SAMANTHA STOSUR: He just said, You're playing well. I mean, just be aware of a couple of things on my serve. My serve percentage actually in that first set wasn't very good, which I didn't realize. So, yeah, just be aware of my ball toss but keep going for it.

He said, You're playing well, and, yeah, there's nothing to kind of back away from or necessarily change but keeping aggressive, and, yeah, just trying to get that first serve percentage a little higher.

Q. How did you find just that coaching bit from him? And do you feel like it sort of calmed you down and gave you extra confidence?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I thought it was good. I mean, I wasn't overly -- I wasn't frustrated or angry or anything like that. I didn't feel like I necessarily needed to be calmed down, but, yeah, just to hear that reassurance that you're doing good things and a couple of little points that, yeah, to make me aware of.

Like I said, I wasn't aware of it and I saw it was 40%, which just isn't good enough.

I think in the second and third, it really got a lot better. Yeah, I thought it was quite useful today.

Q. (Question about doing the right things and getting the ball rolling.)
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I'd like to think so. I think today I played much, much, much better than what I played at the end of last year. So there's lots of positives to take from that. Even the tournament in Zhuhai I was kind of trying to get going and treat it like this year, but now with a bit of practice under my belt, I felt like, yeah, so far, so good. Obviously you wanted to stop that streak of matches lost.

Looking at this new year as a new year, which it is, I'm not really concerned about what happened at the end of last year.

Q. Talking about your serve a little bit, as a shot, it was not as reliable for you last year, but when you go to work on it in the offseason, is it a matter of getting it back, going back to basics and trying to find that serve again, or are you working on it, tweaking it to make it better or trying to get to that level that...
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I'm obviously not changing my technique or anything like that. What I've got is what I've got, and it's worked very well for me. I'm never gonna, yeah, change anything like that, but I think being, like I said before, aware of your accuracy, your percentages, hitting the right serves at the right time, and just not, you know, giving service games away because your serve is not doing enough.

So, I mean, I'm always a player that I really want to try and go for it, but you've got to, I guess, balance that with making enough because you don't want to be putting yourself under pressure hitting loads of second serves against girls these days, because everyone returns too well.

But, yeah, it's more about being more accurate with it, trying to find that pace again. And I think today I hit more aces than what I have done in many matches previously in recent times.

It's more along those lines rather than saying, Okay, I'm not changing my swing or technique or anything like that.

Q. You talked about aggression before. It seemed like you even lifted it a bit in the second set. Were you pleased with the way that you, I guess, attacked the game and that's what you were looking to do?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, absolutely. Again, overall I want to play that way, anyway. I want to be that aggressive player. And against someone like Garbiñe, where she is trying to do that, she hits the ball hard, hits the ball flat, if you kind of back off and shy away from that and try and just push everything back, that's not going to be a winning style against someone like her and certainly not one that I'm very good at.

You've got to kind of sometimes go back at players and combat their pace with their own and try and get them on their back foot. Today was a pretty even battle. It wasn't like either of us really, yeah, took a step back or shied away from trying to be the aggressive player.

Q. That's hard to do, obviously, when you're up a break, looking at the serve and that sort of thing. Do you feel like you maintained that when she broke you back or you just put that down to...
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, I think she actually stepped up that game. I think the start of the third she had a bit of a dip, she didn't play a great service game, which gave me the break, and I was feeling like I was playing pretty well still at that point and my level was really high.

Then the game she broke, yeah, the first point she hit a really deep return on me, hit a couple of winners, and that's kind of what she had to do to do that. I feel like she really made a conscious effort to go after that return game on me, and it paid off for her. But even the game, one or two games before, when I had those break points, I went after that forehand, missed it a tiny bit wide, but I'd much rather walk off trying to hit that kind of shot than push it back in and have her hit something.

So at least I made good decisions at that point in time, which I'm happy about.

Q. There was a lot of kind of offcourt WTA news day after day after day a couple weeks ago. I was wondering what your reaction was to that string of news? Ana retiring, Vika having a baby, Petra, Serena?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, there has been a lot of things happening.

Yeah, firstly, obviously Petra, that's a really horrible thing to have happen to anyone. Yeah, obviously. I think she's a great person, a great player, and she's going to be missed while she's out. Hopefully it's not going to be too long. You know, I think I'd be very surprised if she is back in six months, but I think we'd all love to see her be able to come back, because obviously that's not something you want to see anyone go through.

Vika having a baby, that was nice news, and good for her.

Serena, obviously, more recently.

And Ana, again, what a great champion and one of the nicest girls on tour. She's going to be missed by, I'm sure, players and everybody involved, and fans, obviously, especially. But, yeah, she obviously finds that it's time, and I think that's a great decision to make if you feel like that's what you want to do, and, yeah, move on.

So she's a great person. I'm sure she'll be successful at whatever she does next.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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