January 19, 2006
THE MODERATOR: First question for Sam, please.
Q. Where would that sit in your list of really good career wins?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Pretty high, I guess. Going on the occasion, second round, playing on center court, just the way that I fought through that second set I think for me, just knowing what I did out there, regardless of anything else, was a great feeling.
Q. What matches would compare with that for significance?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Probably maybe a couple of the ones that I played January last year, and then probably, even though I lost to Alicia in the final of Sydney, and Patty in the final of Gold Coast, I really tried to fight my way out of those matches. I ended up losing both 7-5 in the third, which was kind of hard to take two weeks in a row in two finals. I think that maybe helped me get through today, knowing that I can fight through those situations.
Q. Have you won a singles match on Rod Laver Arena before?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No. It was only the second one I ever played.
Q. How big a deal was that for you, given the sense of occasion, big stadium?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think it was -- I handled it better obviously today than what I did last year against Amélie. I think knowing that I've been out there before and also playing a few mixed matches last year, being in the final last year there, just -- I think because I've been there a couple times, it really helped out out there today definitely.
Q. Does being in front of your home crowd make you more nervous?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Doesn't make me more nervous. I just love playing here. I love playing in Australia. I just -- I really like it when there's a lot of people around and they're all cheering for me. It really just picks me up. I'd certainly rather be playing in front of them than not.
Q. What is the mindset when you're 1-5 down in a set? One game at a time?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, going into the match, I was like saying to myself, "Just one point at a time." I got myself down, kind of let her dictate what was happening out there a little bit to put her in that position. Then at 5-1 I just thought, just swing at a couple of balls and get a little bit of tension out that I had. Just, you know, maybe go for a couple winners and see what happens. If it did go to 3, I was hoping I'd gotten rid of all that kind of nervous energy, then I'd be ready to play the third set if it happened. As I did that, I just -- that's how I needed to be playing. As I did that, I just kind of got myself back into it.
Q. At what point did you think to yourself that she was really starting to struggle?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I guess as soon as you break serve when someone is serving for the set, you know maybe they're a little bit nervous and you can still get in there. Being two breaks down, it's never easy to come back. You've always got to believe that you're in with a shot. After I did the first time and held, I knew the pressure was back on her to serve it out at 5-3.
Q. It's been said and written this week about the fact we haven't got teenage players like Ivanovic making their way through the ranks. How much of an advantage is it to be a few years older, around a bit longer, more in control of your emotions when you get into that type of situation?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, I think being a little bit older and having the experience that I've had in my career certainly helped me. Some girls get that when they're 15 or 16. Some don't till 20 or 21. It just seems that in Australia we all kind of develop a little bit later. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. It's just kind of what seems to happen for whatever reason. I guess I've been here before a couple of times more than her. Obviously, I've got the home crowd support behind me. I guess that all just kind of builds up - hopefully in my favor.
Q. Do you feel you're a late developer relatively?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I guess compared to some girls, yeah, I am. I don't know. I guess it just comes when it comes. You don't want to be thinking that it's not going to happen if you haven't made the top 30 by the time you're 16 or 17. It doesn't always happen like that for everyone.
Q. You were pretty aggressive today, came in a lot, had a fair bit of success doing that. Is that something that's coming more?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it's something that I've been wanting to put into my game for a little while now. I'm just starting to get the confidence to actually do it in matches, not just on the practice court. That's something that I want to keep trying to work at and hopefully continue it.
Q. Your ranking last year went up to the 50s. What are your goals for this season?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Just to keep doing what I've been doing on the practice court and then putting it into the matches, which is what I've been able to do the last couple of rounds here, also at Hopman Cup. That's really the main goal for me, is just to keep working on my game, keep trying to push it forward. Wherever it takes me, it takes me.
Q. You don't have a number in your head?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I do, but I'll keep that one (smiling).
Q. You've had an amazing year in doubles. How has that affected your singles game?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: It's been great. I've played in big situations on the doubles court at the US Open, The Championships. I felt probably more nervous in those matches than what I ever felt before playing anything. I think being in those situations, then also working on my serve and volley, volleying, being on the court, doing those things in doubles is really helping my singles. That's what I wanted to be doing on the singles court. That's what's happening now.
Q. What do you know about your next opponent?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Don't even know who it is (laughter).
Q. Yan or Bammer. Heard of them?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Heard of both of them. Never played either of them.
Q. Is that a sense of opportunity, given they're ranked below you? Is that a sense of opportunity rather than pressure in coming up against someone like Amélie or Mary or someone like that?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I guess it is kind of different going into the match if you're higher ranked than them rather than playing a top seed. Maybe a different kind of mentality than what I had today, but still just want to go out there and worry about my own game, be able to control what I can control out there.
Q. Are you conscious of being the standard bearer for the Australian women, given that Alicia is not playing? Enter your head at all?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I mean, I know that I am, but it's not really something that I'm feeling a lot of pressure with. I know that that's the case and that's it. That's just the way it is. I don't think it's a bad thing for me at all.
Q. Rehearsal for Fed Cup maybe?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Maybe, yup.
Q. How did you feel when JA came out last year and said you could win Wimbledon?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: It was nice to think that he thought I could do that, but probably not too realistic at that point in time.
Q. Did that put added pressure on, some sort of focus on you going into that title?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Not really. I wasn't really thinking about it when I was out there. But I guess you can only really worry about the pressure you put on yourself. I guess it's more than what anyone could put on you maybe. You want to play the way you want to play, give it everything you've got. If that means winning first round or winning the tournament, I guess it's the way it goes. Having then lost, I guess it kind of isn't a good feeling, having someone say that about you though.
Q. With the volleying and all the doubles, do you think Wimbledon is still your best shot at something in a Grand Slam?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think, yeah, the grass suits me. Hopefully by the time I get there, I would have got a little bit better at what I'm doing now. But this one's going all right, as well. Hopefully I just can continue it here (smiling).
Q. Do you have an apparel sponsor?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No.
Q. Putting out an ad this week to try to put someone on board? Prime time TV, whatever.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I guess so. If someone comes along, that would be great.
Q. Have you modeled your game on anyone in particular?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Not really, no. I just -- no (laughter).
Q. You must be mindful that you're playing in a way that basically no other girl is, the emphasis you're putting on coming to the net, volleying. You're not from the tennis production line we're seeing from all around the world in terms of where the top players come from.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I guess I know that I've got all the shots. I've just got to get them as best as I can and use them at the right time. I guess maybe sometimes it gets a little bit tricky out there because I think I can do something that maybe I can't. I've got to really control myself and just do what's needed at the time.
Q. Physically your body shape and fitness is almost unrecognizable from when you were a junior. Did you have a breakthrough at some point in terms of how you approached the physical side or did it just come with maturity?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, the last couple of years I started working with my trainer. That's really been a big focus for me. When I was a junior, my movement was never something was a real attribute to my game. It was probably something that I always struggled with. Playing the style of game that I want to play, I mean, I've got to be quick and fast and powerful out there. The last couple of years, I've really worked hard at it. It's really been kind of at the front of my training then just to help my game. I don't want to be tired out there. It's something that I've really tried to focus on.
Q. In terms of pure power and fitness, do you feel you're at the point where you can pretty much match anyone on tour at the moment now?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I feel great out there.
Q. Andrew Ilie went to Kmart for his shirts. Where do you shop?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I have my suppliers (laughter).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.