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January 19, 2010

Samantha Stosur


6-1, 3-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about the relief of getting through today.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, like I said out there, it's always a relief to get through a first round. Overall, I was really pleased with the way I played, was able to handle myself out there.
Yeah, really happy to get through with the win.

Q. Had there been a point in the last week where people started to get to you a bit, people saying you were crumbling, can't handle the pressure? Did that get difficult at any point?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, not really. You know, I tried to not worry about what everyone else was saying or thinking, what was going on, and just really, you know, know how I was feeling in myself.
At the end of the day, that's what counts and that's what matters. Yeah, Dave and I have had quite a few chats about things, just trying to, you know, handle it as best as I can.
You know, I just wanted to go out there and do my best, and might as well have a good attitude today. I was able to do that. I think that was probably why I was able to go out there and play pretty well and get through the first one.

Q. What was most pleasing about your form today then?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I think I served well, except for that second set. My percentage went way down, and then she had some more looks at second serves. She had nothing to lose at that point. She really stepped up, started going for some more shots.
I didn't really change anything, kept playing the same way. I was able to work that out the start of the third set. I wanted to hit the ball a bit heavier. When I got that opening to actually go for it, I had to step up and make some more first serves.
I was able to do that. I was pleased I could go from playing well, dominating, not being in too much of a battle out there, losing that set, then being able to regroup and get through the third.

Q. Olivia Rogowska just got on court. The younger players coming through, what are our prospects as a country for having some more top 50 players in the next three years or so?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think right now we're in as good of a position as what we've ever been in. Alicia's comeback, Casey returning, Jelena still up there, now these few younger ones. I think we've got a really good shot at having three, four, five of us in the top hundred again anytime soon.
You know, if Olivia can get through a match here, get through, who knows after that. That obviously will give her a great boost in confidence. She had a good year last year, being able to win a match at the French, a tight one at the US Open.
She's, I guess, been able to prove that she can beat players out here. Now it's a matter of trying to do it over and over again.

Q. Your next round...
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I think it's Barrois and Amanmuradova.

Q. Neither of them are big names. What are you expecting?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I guess it all depends who I play. But I think they both have got pretty decent serves, pretty tall girls. But at the end of the day, I'm going to have to go out there and focus on what I'm going to do and play my own game and worry about that more so than what they're going to be able to do to me.
But, you know, go out there and kind of have the same outlook on what I had on today's match, and try and bring that again on Thursday.

Q. Does that lift a little bit off your shoulders? You got through one, you can relax a little bit now?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think first rounds in a Grand Slam for anyone is sometimes the toughest. Even the guys that win these events, quite often they've had a tough one in the first round, second round, third round.
It's always nice to get through that first one and know that you've got that under your belt. Then you can just kind of go out there and play. It does take a bit of pressure off, I guess.
But by the time Thursday comes around, I'm going to be wanting to win as much as I did today. So it's always nice to get the first one done, but it's certainly not over yet.

Q. Your opponent said her target this year is to play more on the WTA circuit instead of the ITF. To achieve this goal, what part of her game do you think needs most improvement?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think she was actually quite a good player. Obviously she's starting out new on the tour. She's got good groundstrokes. I think her serve could improve a little bit. Her serve is not, you know, quite so hard and doesn't put a lot of pressure on you, and I'm sure with a lot of other girls, too.
She's very fast, gets a lot of balls back, and can step up, too. Yeah, I think she'll be on the WTA Tour I think pretty soon and not playing so many ITFs.

Q. No doubt you enjoyed a lot of crowd support. How much do you find that impacts on your game?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I love it out there. It's always fun playing on Rod Laver. Yeah, when you have a group of Aussies cheering for you, it kind of gets the whole crowd involved. Yeah, gets a really good atmosphere out there.
The Aussies always stick behind their players. But when there's a group kind of leading the charge, it makes it that little more fun. You know, you can laugh at a few little comments that they make. Yeah, it just makes it fun and really gets everyone into it.

Q. What's the big difference in being No. 13 compared to where you've been before?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I think kind of like what I said out on the court, as well. Now I'm not the underdog most matches that I go out there and play.
When you're in that position, you lose a set and you got nothing to lose, you can kind of go for broke and see what happens.
I'm not in that position anymore now. I'm the player that I've always played against. I have to realize that can happen with my opponents now, as well. If they're losing or whatever, uhm, you know, they've got nothing to lose against someone ranked higher than them.
You just got to keep the foot down. If you get in that position, if you're leading, yeah, keep going and not relax. Even though you're a set and a break up, it's definitely not over when you're playing people ranked lower than you.

Q. Would you say there's more pressure for you now?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, yeah, probably I'd say so. But, again, I've wanted to get to get to this point and try to get higher as well. So there's more pressure, but there's also more reward. It's what you play for. You play to get to the highest you can possibly be.

Q. It's very interesting that after I come to Melbourne this year, I can see you everywhere, tram stops, television commercials. Can you talk about being No. 1, more doors of opportunity for you?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, without a doubt it has. Yeah, again, that's a different scenario for me, as well. You drive to the courts and you see your face at tram stops, it's a little bit different to what I've ever seen before going to Melbourne Park.
Again, it something new. I'm enjoying it while the attention's there, because you never know when it can go away. I want to enjoy this and make the most of it.

Q. Do you sympathize with Jelena at all at the moment? She's going through a tough time again.

Q. Do you have any sort of advice for her, how to recover?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, yeah, for sure I feel for her. It's not easy. I'm sure it's not easy going through what she's gone through. She's had so many highs and lows through her career. I'm sure this is going to be another one that she's going to be able to get through.
You know, she said it was a bit of a relief that this tournament was all over and now the pressure's off. Once that happens, you never know what she's going to be able to do. She's obviously a great player. If she can get her head and mental state in the right place, then she can do anything. She's proved that.
So I'm sure this is just another kind of speed bump that she's going to get over and probably get through it pretty well.

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