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August 14, 2011

Samantha Stosur


6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did Serena play the way you anticipated her to play, or did she surprise you today?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, I think she's obviously -- you know, playing Serena, she's capable of playing very, very good tennis.
I think for me to be able to win, I had to play close to my best tennis, as well. I wasn't quite at that mark. You know, I think I played well. Even the service games that I lost, except for maybe one or two, I had game point.
So if I look at it like that, there wasn't too much in it. But obviously she's a great player and played very well today.

Q. How would you compare Serena's level of play today to the previous times that you have played her? And are you surprised that she's been able to reach this level so quickly in her comeback to the tour?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I guess she makes it look very easy, and it's not that easy just to come back on tour and win two events in your first four tournaments.
You know, I think she's playing very well. To win a tournament like this, you have to be playing well. I think compared to other times that we've played, I don't know. I think she's, you know, absolutely blown me away at the Australian Open one time, and then we played a really tight match at the French.
It's really hard to compare different matches with different situations, but, you know, I know going onto the court against her that I'm going to have to play well.

Q. Before Serena went out to serve for the match, you had had a very good seventh game. You won all four points and maybe were inspired by that. At that time the main scoreboard ran a clip thanking fans for coming out to the tournament, asking them to buy tournaments for next year. I was wondering, did you hear that at all? And if you did, did that give you any inspiration to go out and prove the message premature, or did you hear it?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Actually, I didn't even hear it or see it. It's funny. You know when matches are getting close on a final weekend, TV crews stop coming out and everyone starts crowding around thinking that it's the end of the match. I think it would be nice to prove them wrong and be able to come back, but she played a great last service game.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the upcoming US Open and yourself and your confidence, where you were a week ago and where you are now and the difference?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it's a big boost from what I was feeling playing after Stanford to now. So now I'm, yeah, full of confidence, really happy with the way my game is at at the moment.
I feel like I'm playing well and moving well and feeling good out there, so I can go to Cincinnati now and try and do this all over again. Then I've got a week off before New York.
So, yeah, I've got another, like I said, another week to really keep building on this. I think it's great to have one week, but it would be awesome to, you know, try and keep it going for another one.

Q. Why did the sunglasses come off in the later stages?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Because it got darker. (Laughter.) The rain was approaching, and unfortunately it didn't approach fast enough for me. (Smiling.)
Yeah, but if it's not sunny enough and it's not warranted, then I won't wear them.

Q. When you heard the thunder out there in the second set, did that change your approach at all?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, I think when you're playing and you know there's weather conditions that could change and maybe delay the match, if you're ahead, sometimes it's easy to start, you know, really pressing and trying to finish things too quickly.
If you are losing, you kind of hope it does come to maybe, you know, stop and get a bit of a break. But I think really you've got to just try and ignore it and play each point as normal.
You don't want to stuff up your own routine with, you know, thunder or clouds coming. You've just got to keep playing, and whatever happens happens.

Q. You had quite a lot of fan support throughout the game. How much of an impact did that have?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I have had lots of great support here all week, not just today. It's always enjoyable to play in front of a big crowd and especially a nice vocal crowd who, you know, part are going for you; part are going for the opponent.
I think it's just a really good atmosphere. The supporters have come out every single day, and it's always great fun to play in front of a crowd like today.

Q. If the draw holds in Cincinnati, you might meet her again in the second round. I think you have a qualifier first. I'm sorry if I ruined...
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, that's okay.

Q. If she continues to play as well as she has, do you expect to do something differently when you meet her, or was there so little between you that you just have to play the same type of game?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think you can't -- I never really want to change my game too dramatically against any kind of opponent. I think someone like Serena, you know she's going to come at you with big serves and hit big groundstrokes and do what she does.
So I think I've got to always go back at her and try and play aggressively, as well. I don't think it's a matter of really changing a lot in the game plan. It's maybe trying to execute a bit better and just always go out there and try and play as best you can.

Q. You must have been awfully pleased with how the match started. You're sitting at 4-All. There didn't seem to be a whole lot of difference between the two of you at that point. She breaks you to go up 5-4, and it seemed like from that moment on, the match went in one direction. What happened at that point?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think at 4-All I had 40-15 up on serve, and to lose that, obviously you never want to lose serve, but especially being up in the game and really kinda holding quite comfortably up until that point, it's disappointing to lose that.
But I came out the next game, tried to break serve, and I don't know if I really got too close to really breaking too many times. I had a breakpoint in that last game, but I think that's just tennis, you know.
I stepped up to the line every single time and tried to win every single point. But once an opponent gets a certain lead, sometimes it really boosts them and makes it a bit more difficult.

Q. I'd like to congratulate you on your final appearance.

Q. How would you compare this game as against all the other games you played during the week?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Um, it's kinda hard to compare matches against different opponents. I think Serena's a completely different player and opponent to, say, Agi yesterday. Two different game styles.
I think yesterday I played really, really well, and today I played, you know, quite well. Not my best, but I certainly gave it everything and was happy with my level.
So it's, yeah, difficult to compare matches, but I can, you know, walk off today knowing I did my best and thought I played quite well.

Q. If you do play Serena again next week, will it be nice to get another shot at her so quickly, or is it tougher to kind of put this result away?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, I think if I get another opportunity to play her next week, then that's fantastic. I want to be playing the best players in the world.
Obviously if it's second round, that's not ideal. You'd rather be doing it later in an event, but if that's the way the draw pans out, that's what happens.

Q. I was just wondering if I could ask you how intimidating is it to come up against a player like a Serena out there, given her competitive drive and her talents? And what she's done in such a short time coming back from these health concerns?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think playing Serena, it's -- you know, it's always gonna be a tough task. She never throws matches away. I think to go out there and beat her, you have to beat her.
I think, you know, we've played quite a few matches in the past, and I was able to win two of them and one of those was in a Grand Slam.
So I think if I can beat her in a Grand Slam, then I've got an opportunity. Like I said, though, I know that I'm gonna have to play well to beat her. Going into the match, I've got to believe that it's definitely possible.

Q. I'm aware that in Australia tennis is considered like hockey here, perhaps the most popular sport.
I want to know, is there a little bit of expectations in your country that they want you to win the Grand Slam very, very soon? And does that add pressure into your performance on the tour?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think, yeah, obviously we love playing tennis and we are a big tennis nation back home.
No doubt I think they would like me to win a Grand Slam, as I want to for myself, as well. But I think that's just part of being from a country that's got a great sporting history. We get behind all our sports.
I know at Australian Open time especially there is more spotlight and, you know, attention drawn to my matches, but that's part of, I guess, playing and you've got to be able to handle that if you want to try to be the best in the world.

Q. You mentioned yesterday you're only playing Cincinnati in the run up to the US Open. You've played New Haven in the past. I'm wondering if, at this point in your career, you've found kind of the best way for you to prepare for a Grand Slam?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I hope I have. I guess each year you try and do what you think is appropriate for how you're feeling and whatever is, you know, played out in the weeks before.
But last year I planned to play here and Cincinnati and had to pull out of those two, so I went to New Haven instead. Hopefully this year is gonna work out well playing these two big events, and then I can be New York-ready and prepared.
I think it's just one of those things you have to take year by year what you want to do in the lead up to a slam.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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