By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
Sam Stosur, whose powerful kick serve suits fast surfaces, will be aiming to return back to the world’s elite by making progress at Eastbourne.
The wildcard Australian, who only dropped out of the world’s top 10 following her 3rd Round reversal to Jelena Jankovic, has got the all-round power game to reel off victims on grass and immediately climb back up the rankings.
Former world no1 Jankovic got revenge for her 2010 French Open defeat to Stosur three years later in Paris. However, the Serbian star made controversial comments when she exited the 2010 Roland Garros semi-finals.
Jankovic claimed at the time about Stosur: “To be honest, she kind of has like almost the game of a man – that’s what it feels like.
“When I look at how the men play she has kind of a similar kick serve, which not many women have. It’s a very heavy spin and then she runs around the forehand.”
Rising French star Kristina Mladenovic, beaten by Stosur in the 2nd Round at Roland Garros, said about her opponent: “She was serving just amazing, and I would say like a man today – really. She’s the only woman player able to hit that hard and that heavy with those conditions.”
Stosur retorted: “It’s just one of those things, I don’t take offence. It all depends how it’s said and the context of it. Sometimes in print it probably sounds more harsh than it actually was.
“Most of the time it’s a compliment. I’m able to hit a kick serve. If I can do something better than the rest of the girls then that’s something to be happy with.”