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October 25, 2011

Samantha Stosur


S. STOSUR/M. Sharapova
6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Sam, please.

Q. It wasn't your prettiest victory but it must have been one of your most satisfying?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't know about that. I'm actually very pleased with the way I played.

Q. It was spectacular. You didn't hit winners from everywhere and didn't hit 20 aces or anything.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah. You know, I would think with the conditions and the court, it's not conducive to doing that. That's probably why I am probably so pleased with that win is because I couldn't, you know, use my, you know, best weapons really out there but managed to do other things with them and got a straight-sets win over somebody I've never beaten before.
So, yeah, I think given that, I'm very, very pleased with the way I then played and held the court and really just went at it.

Q. How big was the mental hurdle going in, given what had happened before?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, yeah, obviously it's not a good feeling when you've never beaten someone before and you're going in to that next match. I tried to change my mentality, like I kinda just said, and I was pretty clear with what I wanted to do, and I really just stuck with it from start to finish.
I think the start of the match was big, that first game, scrambling, getting those balls back, and, you know, serving very good percentage but still aggressively I think was, you know, two of the big keys.

Q. Was tonight a bit about you showing another way to win in some ways?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think given that I didn't really use a kick serve and a heavy forehand, and like I said before, go out there and win but serve out those serves and hit different types of forehands. Yeah, to win without using, you know, your best strengths I think is, yeah, a big bonus.

Q. Your movement, do you feel the last few months you've really been able to sort of go to another level? Just seems defensively and just your movement seems to be somewhere else compared to where it was.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think probably towards the later stage of Toronto and then the US Open was probably the best I felt all year or maybe ever moving and backing up matches and really doing what I need to do on the court to set myself up for the shots that I want.
And then I think, yeah, tonight I was able to move very well and scramble those balls back and stay in points, and then, when I had a chance, then get on top of it.
So, yeah, I think if you can stay in the points as well as dominate them, then that's always a good thing.

Q. How important is it to have been through a tournament before? It's kind of unique, the round robin, only eight players. You have got to be sort of able to go from the first match. It's a confined bubble of people that's different than a normal tournament.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it is very different. I mean, you've got a nice little lounge at the hotel, and nearly every player is in there every night sitting two seats away from each other. So there's lots of different things about playing here, and obviously there's no time to warm up and feel your way into a tournament when it's top eight.
So it's, you know, it is different, but I guess in some ways you know every match you have got to go out there and try and play the best you can, and if you don't, good chance is you're not gonna win. So in some ways that's a bit better, I think. It almost takes a little bit of pressure off to know that, okay, if I don't do it, it's not gonna happen.

Q. The crowd here was excellent for day one, and we look back at Doha and remember a lot of empty seats certainly the start of the week. What was your take on it all?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, yeah, I thought it was fantastic out there. Yeah, it was a really, really good showing I think for the first day and probably much better than what I even expected.
So I think first day down, it was a very good result obviously for the tennis. I thought there were some good matches played and also for the crowd to come out and enjoy. Hopefully they're gonna see that tonight and keep coming back.

Q. Are you a bit surprised to be called on to play first tomorrow, given you were last tonight and you're playing someone who hasn't played at all yet?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think you never want to play last and then first, but I guess it's a 5:00 start, so it's not that early. But given that I probably won't go to sleep for a couple of hours, at least, you know, it's still a quick turnaround. But that's tennis. I guess you've got to get used to that.

Q. You've got Vika tomorrow, another player you haven't beaten. So talk about that match going into it, especially in light of what happened today.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think -- well, hopefully tonight is going to be a good omen that things are turning around in my favor against players that I've struggled with.
But, you know, I think it's gonna be a tough one, new day, and in some ways it's actually a very similar kind of matchup. They both play kind of similar styles, and I think definitely I can look back on matches I've played against her, but at the end of the day I want to go out there and play well. Knowing I was able to achieve a good result tonight would definitely give me confidence for tomorrow.

Q. Obviously it was only last month that you had your major breakthrough, but how high do you sort of consider tonight's win compared to other victories of the past?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Um, yeah, I think it's definitely up there with one of my probably best victories. I don't know. It's hard to, you know, rate things in order, but definitely one of my more pleasing ones, and being at the Championships and getting off to a good start is also a nice thing, as well.

Q. Regarding tomorrow's match, she hasn't played yet or she will not have played yet. You'll have one match. Is that a disadvantage for you or advantage? She'll be fresher but you'll have court sensations? Or I don't know.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't know if there is necessarily a huge advantage.

Q. Would you rather be in your place or hers?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I'm happy to be in my situation rather than hers. I mean, she was the last one to come here this week after, you know, playing the tournament the week before. And I've had plenty of court time out there and I'm still feeling fresh. Should be fine to back up, you know, physically and whatever else tomorrow. So I'm fine with playing straight up again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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