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January 6, 2020

Samantha Stosur

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

S. STOSUR/A. Kerber

7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Encouraging start to the season. How do you assess the match?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, obviously, that's exactly the start anyone wants is to win their first one. But, yeah, I'm very, very happy with that win over Angie. It's probably my first Top-20 win in a little while, so to come out and play well and I really was clear with what I wanted to do out there and executed my plan really well, stuck with it, and kept that clarity was just, yeah, really pleasing. And to get a win out there was amazing. It was, yeah, a great feeling.

Q. What, I suppose, what changed at 1-5 in the tiebreaker?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't know, to be honest. I kind of forgot that I was down 5-1. So, I mean, every one you always want to play just point by point by point, and I guess considering that I kind of forgot that I was down 5-1 it shows that I was doing that and thought, all right, got to stick to my plan and start hitting. I don't feel like I necessarily started playing poorly when I was up in the set. I was still hitting the ball well but probably just sometimes too well for her, and then I got back to keeping it out of her hitting zone, obviously, using the slice to keep the pace out of the rally, and then when I had an opportunity I took it. So I probably just got back to that more so than anything.

Q. Is this the best you've probably played these days in the tournament or since Fed Cup?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, possibly. It's probably my best win here. So yeah, I mean, if it is, then I'm happy with that and I'll take it.

Q. You said you forgot that you were down 5-1. That would suggest that you're very relaxed, and you were in the moment. Do you think that's -- you were talking earlier that there's not as much pressure on you now that there's another Australian here in Brisbane, another Brisbane girl. Do you think that's a little helpful being on that outer court?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I mean, it's funny. This is sort of the way I want to be all the time on court and I put more pressure on myself than anyone could ever do, because I really, I know what I'm capable of and what I feel like I can do out there. So sometimes, yeah, I probably want it all too bad and then that's when you kind of get hamstrung and don't perform as you want to. But today I certainly feel like I did stay relaxed and composed. And like I said before, played point by point and did all those things that I want to do all the time, but sometimes doesn't quite come off. So, yeah, to do it here and, again, to put in -- I just wanted to put in a good performance and I did that and proved to myself that my good performance can win matches, so that's a good feeling.

Q. Do you think the courts are a bit slower than normal this year and do you think that helps you?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Not necessarily. I think that the center court here is always really slow, which I don't like it too slow and the balls get really big and fluffy here, and I think that's partly why I've always struggled in that center court because it's under the roof and you're not getting the jump and the bounce out of the court that you want. Whereas, I think out there it's, obviously, more like playing outside. But yeah, I don't know whether this new surface is necessarily slower than what it was before or not. If nobody said that it was a new surface you probably wouldn't pick up too much difference, in all honesty.

Q. Madison or Bouzkova next. Can you talk about the respective strengths of those and your history, I suppose, against Madison in particular?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, Madison, we played a couple of times. We played Miami last year. I got the win there in three sets, which was a good one for me. And, but, yeah, she's obviously a big hitter of the ball, big server, big forehand, and really plays aggressive tennis. So you know on her that if you drop the ball short early the rally is more than likely over. So you've got to be looking at being smart with where you want to hit, keep good depth, still play your game but know that you know what's coming from the other end.

And Bouzkova, we actually played each other here first round, I lost in a long three-setter on New Year's Eve. So I'll look back to those notes for sure and, yeah, see what I can change and do better. But I played a good match last year and that was that. So whatever the case I'll obviously keep an eye on that match tomorrow.

Q. You must take a lot of confidence out of the way. You served under pressure in that second set because the series of games there where she really tested you. And to do that against a good player like her, how big is that for you ahead of the summer?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, obviously, my serve has always been one of my weapons, so to serve well and serve, more than serving big or anything today, it was serving smart and I think there was a few periods, you know, I didn't make enough first serves, serving for the set I didn't make a first serve and it kind of dropped a bit. But once I really then realized what I should be doing, just kept doing the same thing and, obviously, you've got to keep a little bit of variety, but it's more about serving smart against a player like Angie. If you hit a big serve, 180, 190, but she gets a hit on it, it's not a good plan. So, yeah, it's keeping that variety in the spin and also looking where she's standing to adjust her position and all of that. So I thought I'd looked and, yeah, read the play and did all those things well today.

Q. Can you talk about just Rennae and her strengths as a coach, and also from, does what you're looking for in a coach change as you get more experienced? Did that change for you through your career?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, it definitely has. I think, I guess firstly, yeah, what Rennae can bring is, like I said out on court, is good energy, big motivation, she knows all the players, her tactical awareness and everything about the players is excellent. That was something as, last year when I was going through without a coach, I found hard to do that day after day to back that up and spend the time being able to work those things out, even though we know a lot of players and you know what to do, having that other set of eyes doing that is obviously very helpful. So I think that was a very big reason why I asked Rennae to coach me, because that side of her coaching, I think, is very good. So besides the fact that, obviously, we have known each other for a long time and she always gives me her two cents anyway, and being a big supporter of mine and always being able to tell me little things. We played doubles together and all that, so now, just she gets paid for it instead, I guess. But, yeah, it's been really good so far and I've really enjoyed it. And I guess the second part, definitely what I've looked for in a coach has changed over the years and you kind of realize -- you get better at knowing what you want, I guess, firstly. And sometimes that's not easy to find, believe it or not. And, yeah, but now I'm probably definitely a lot more flexible with weeks that might be added or where we train or where we do things, whereas yeah, when maybe 10 years ago with Dave we were both very, this way it has to be all the time, blah, blah, blah. Whereas now she's not there a week or two, it doesn't stress me out. It doesn't worry me.

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