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August 4, 2013

Samantha Stosur


S. STOSUR/V. Azarenka
6‑2, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How do you feel?  First title since 2011 US Open.  Long time coming?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, it has.  Obviously very happy.  Nothing, yeah, really else.  I guess it has been a long time since I've been able to hold another winner's trophy.
To be able to do it here today, yeah, very, very happy.

Q.  What was the key?  Multiple break points.  I think 12.  She only broke you once.  A lot of big, important, serves, a lot of body serves on some of those.  You didn't get that many returns back in play.
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, I mean, I think that was a really big part of the match.  That first set she did have lots of opportunities.  I think nearly all of them except one I hit a really good first serve in and she didn't make the ball into play.
So, yeah, that's something I have to be very happy with, to be able to step up to the line under that pressure and hit the serve where I want to, how I want to time and time again.  I know what it feels like not to be able to break serve when you have opportunities, and it gets pretty frustrating.
Yeah, I think that was a huge part of that match, and then able to carry on from that first set throughout the second set as well.

Q.  What does this do for your confidence going into the Open, just winning a tournament on hard courts and playing well for a week?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, it's great.  Obviously this is the lead‑up to the US Open and that's where everyone want to peak.
I think this is a huge boost for me.  I haven't had great results for really all year, so to be able to bounce back especially from last week's first‑round loss especially and play better and better each day I think here and come away with this is, yeah, really exciting and a good boost going into the last slam of the year.

Q.  Talk about the mental aspect of not having beaten a player, having lost all eight matches and what that does as you approach the matches with that player?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, I guess it's a different maybe psyche each time you play someone.  I guess I went through something similar when I played Maria Sharapova a bunch of time.  I think it took ten times for me to be able to beat her.
I knew it was possible one day against Vika, but the last two matches that we played have been very, very close.  I felt like I was almost in winning positions with those two as well.
So I think going into today there was no reason to believe that I wasn't going to be able to turn that result around and win today.
It's a matter of playing well and doing it when it counts.

Q.  She's considered one of, if not the best, returners in the game.  To save 11 of 12 break points, is that mentally as tough as where you place your serve and how you play?  How hard is it mentally to do that?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Oh, sure.  I mean, going in to playing her, you know that she's going to make lots of returns, and if she makes them they're generally really close to the baseline and hard to attack.
Like I said yesterday, I knew my serve was going to be a big part of the match.  Yeah, I mean, I can't really complain about anything I did really on my serve.  Obviously a few double faults there, but I kept trying to do the right thing and keep going.
I knew I had the first serve there, so I wasn't too concerned about those doubles when I was serving my first serve so well.

Q.  Sam, you were also opportunistic in her service games.  I think you broke her, and every time you had not necessarily a break point, but every game you had break points, which is pretty big, too.
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Oh, yeah.  That's great.  I guess it's kind of the opposite of what she had.
Yeah, I mean, that's great.  Maybe the fact that I was able to hold that serve, that kind of gives that you little bit of extra lift when you get the opportunity.
Having not beaten her before, I know how important every single opportunity is.  I think in Rome I was up a break a couple of times in a set and let that go.  I knew even though you're up a break you can't relax and just rely on always trying to hold serve.
You got to break as soon as you get a chance.

Q.  Looking back on it now, was this a brilliant move on your part to ask for the wildcard, or was it a no‑brainer after you lost in your first round last week?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, my coach and I spoke about it.  I wasn't resistant to it, but we had the same conversation a couple years ago when I lost to Lisicki early on in Stanford and I didn't ask for a wildcard and didn't take one, and then I did well in Toronto and then I won New York.
So I knew that that was the past.  We spoke about all the pros and cons for it all.  You can practice all you want, but at some pain you got to put it into play in matches.
That was the reasoning behind coming here.  I was still going to be able to practice a lot, and then, like I said, you got to put yourself under that pressure of playing matches.
That's why I came, and obviously now very, very pleased with that decision.

Q.  So are you someone who believes in fate?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, I believe in things happen for a reason.  Sure.

Q.  Given the fact when you won the US Open, was that fate that you took the wildcard?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  No, I didn't take one.  I was, Well, I didn't take one last time so I won't take it this time and it will be fine.  Obviously I changed my mind.  Certainly hadn't had as good a year as I had back then.
Yeah, everything does happen for a reason.  You got to to make the most of whatever opportunity you can get.

Q.  It was an up and down year.  You were talking about even last week coming in here, but you were saying you were striking the ball well in practice.  Exactly what happens in matches to be able to win those matches that you're not necessarily winning other parts of the year?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, I think going into Stanford I didn't feel like there was any reason why I shouldn't be playing decent enough to at least win a few rounds.
But I wasn't timing the ball well, and I guess that kind of got to me as that first‑round match went on.  I didn't handle it well and I didn't really play myself into form at all.
So coming here, I did practice hard; I practiced a lot.  I felt like each day got a little bit cleaner, little bit better.  Then as you play each match and you win and work out little things and tweak little things for the next day, things just kind of just fell into place.
I think by the time I was playing Aggie I was really happy with my game and where I was at.  From that day until now was almost pretty even.  I don't know if today I was a little bit better or not.
It's just one of those things that if you push through and you push through, things always seem to feel a bit better as you get deep into a tournament.

Q.  How is your body feeling physically going into the home stretch towards the US Open?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I feel great at the moment.  Even after the long match with Aggie I pulled up pretty well.  Last night was good; today was fine.
So I guess the next a little bit will be a tough test for me, flying tonight and then playing in Toronto or Tuesday.
Yeah, I'll do whatever I need to do, and hopefully I can pull up fine and see what happens there.

Q.  Is your level where you want it to be right now, or can you pinpoint something that you would like to improve going into the US Open?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Look, I'm happy with where things are at at the moment.  It was obviously good enough to win here, and there are a lot of similar players in the next few weeks.
But I guess each day something usually crops up.  There is always room for improvement with anything.  So I'll certainly be looking to probably, yeah, not hit so many double faults.  That would be nice.  But if I can keep my first serve where it is, that'd be great.
Yeah, just keep working hard.  I think I'm playing the way I want to play, and that's probably the most pleasing for me.  Winning or losing, doing the right things is really what matters.

Q.  Did you notice you were the crowd favorite today?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, I mean, maybe felt that a little bit.  But I don't know, for whenever reason I feel like I've always got good crowd support here in the States.  This week has been great.  I enjoy playing here, and I think the fans like watching me and the way I play.
It's nice to be able to play well in front of a crowd that really enjoys it.

Q.  Do you think the crowd was behind you primarily because you're the underdog?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Maybe.  Yeah, I don't know.  Like I said, maybe for the reasons that I just said.  But I guess the lower‑ranked players can sometimes get a little bit of support because they want to see a good match.  You don't know what's going to happen.
I think as I was playing well, they enjoyed what they saw.

Q.  Is it important to get a confidence boost, or do you need to win a tournament occasionally to show you you can win other tournaments moving forward?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I think winning tournaments is the absolute proof that you're a good player and you're able to beat whoever you come across.
That's obvious if you're winning tournaments.  Doesn't always happen every time.  I know I've only won four in my career.  But I know if I'm playing how I'm capable of playing and doing what I can do, then I know I've got a chance.
I guess this week kind of helped prove that.  It's great to be able to have now two top 5 wins in a week when I hadn't had one in quite a while.
That is a huge confidence boost.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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