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February 22, 2021

Samantha Stosur

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell us how you are feeling after the Australian Open? You had a pretty long tournament.

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I'll be ready. No, it's nice to be able to play another event here in Australia especially coming off a great week in the mixed doubles playing the other night. Unfortunately didn't go our way but still a great result for Matt and myself so looking forward to playing doubles tonight and, yeah, getting back out there.

Q. Laying awake at night thinking about what could have been in that final?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: No. I had a late night afterwards, but (laughing) look, it's always a bit of a shame when you lose a Grand Slam final, but I think we got to remember we were wildcards into it. We had never played together before and we played some awesome tennis to get there. So of course you want to win and have the winners' trophy, but yeah, we could leave Melbourne feeling pretty good about ourselves.

Q. Is that a partnership that you think might continue after the way you guys just played?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, hopefully. I would like to play with him again some time this year, so hopefully our rankings can get a little bit better to be combined and make it into the draws because, like I said, we were a wildcard. Not sure we'll get a wildcard into any other Grand Slam, but, yeah, if we can get our ranking in, then, yeah, we would certainly tee it up if possible.

Q. What are you thinking for this event here? What are your hopes personally?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Just to play well. Obviously you want to win as many matches as you can and hopefully be there on the last day. But it's tough, it's another good event and a filled with lots of good players and slightly different conditions here compared to Melbourne, but I think it's just all about taking it one match at a time and it will be nice to get out there to play tonight in the doubles and then whenever I play tomorrow in singles, I'll obviously be ready and try and get through that.

Q. Where is your game at? Are you at a level where you think you come to a tournament like this thinking, I have a dead set chance to win it?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, I think that would be a nice, great outcome. But I've struggled for a bit of form in recent times, but I felt like the Australian Open I played pretty good tennis to get through that first round and my opponent in the second was just too good on the day. So, look, I would love to go deep but it really is one match at a time and just go out there and try and play well and enjoy myself and I know if I can do that and kind of let the shoulders go, then I've got every chance.

Q. The COVID, the break, was that kind of what you put yourself in a spot where you weren't so sure about your form?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think it's just, you know, the later part of your career and gets a little bit harder sometimes to back it up every day, but if anything I think the break's probably refreshed me a little bit and I was able to take some time off and have a good amount of training going into this year's tournament.

So, yeah, I actually feel pretty good physically and mentally having all that time off and a break and kind of, yeah, trying to look at it as to hopefully prolong my career a little bit longer than if the daily grind kept happening.

Q. So you're feeling good mentally, physically going into what we all hope is a lot of tennis in 2021. What do you want to get out of that personally? Are you targeting specific events, more singles or doubles, what's your sense?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: To be honest, I'm still not a hundred percent sure of my schedule after this week. I'll go home and I'll probably be here for the next couple of months before I go and play again. So I think it's a really tough position to really plan and know that, okay, this is what I'm doing compared to previous years. I think this year's still going to be pretty tough for all the players to make a good schedule and kind of know what's going on, just like last year was.

So, but, yeah once I kind of decided where I want to start I'll probably head to Europe for the clay at some stage and then, yeah, I think once you go, you're gone for a long time, so you got to be ready to get on that plane because you're not coming back after a couple of weeks.

Q. I'm curious, because you've had obviously the experience of doing these long trips away from Australia for months and months and months at a time. How difficult was that the first time that you had to do that? And what were the things that helped you become accustom to what it's like to be an Australian player on tour, which is like a little bit different than for the Europeans and the Americans?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, look, my first trip really overseas when I was 15 on a junior tour was 10 weeks through Europe. And when you're 15 and you've been overseas twice in your life that was a real wake-up call to what was ahead for my career, I think, because it is tough for us to travel and it's not easy to go back and forth like you said.

So right from when I first started traveling for junior events I was used to being away for a long time and I think over the years you kind of get used to that a little bit. But early in my 20s I thought, I can't do that back and forth, and I did base myself overseas for a number of years and I think it's a real balance of, some players really do like to come home and they're like, no, I can't stay away the whole time and others are willing to put in the hard yards and be away for six, seven, eight, nine months. I've done that plenty of times in my career without coming home.

At this point now that's not a position I want to put myself in with, you know, once I pack my bags and go, to be away for the next eight or nine months is not really something that's so exciting at this point in time.

Q. Maturity does do that. But also, I'm curious, in terms of obviously you can't schedule and plan, but outside of the fact that we're in the middle of a pandemic, I mean, was there ever the thought or the plan that you and your family would travel kind of worldwide, that that would be kind of what this year or next year would look like?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: That was absolutely the plan. I remember wanting them to come to the US Open last year if everything went well. So that's obviously gone a bit out the window at the moment. I'm still holding a little bit of hope that maybe they will be able to come to the grass season or something like that, but yeah, look, it's tough with COVID anyway and with travel and all of that, like everyone is saying, and then you throw in a little newborn into the mix it's even tougher.

So, look, it's not ideal by any means, but none of this is for anyone, given the situation. So we just got to suck it up and make a plan and whatever that is just got to be happy with that or as happy as you can be with it and be committed to that's just the way it is.

Then hopefully we're all out of this in a very quick time, even though I don't necessarily think it will be that fast, but we could all be hopeful that things might get a little bit more back to normal.

Q. On the two matches, the singles matches that you played in Melbourne, where did you find, with training and getting yourself back into match fitness and that, where did you find that you were pretty happy with and in terms of what you were able to kind of matchup with and where did you feel was the rust on or about the gap that you're trying to kind of close?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think the lead-in event was really like rusty and not what I wanted, not what I kind of expected of myself, even though I knew it was going to be hard after not playing a match for 10 months or whatever it was. I was like, Oh, okay, yeah, this is, that wasn't ideal.

Then it was really back to work and I'm really happy with the way I was able to turn it around then for my first round of AO and I thought I played a pretty good match. The second match against Jessica, she just played too good. I actually felt like I hit the ball well, I felt good about what I was trying to do and trying to execute, but she played too well.

Overall those couple of matches I can't be too critical of myself, I think. It was a good start and hopefully I can continue that here this week going forward. So, but, yeah, as far as physically and mentally pulling up, I was pretty happy with all of that as well, considering, again, matches are so different to training. You can train and train and train, but playing a match is a whole different ball game.



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