Stosur prepared to bounce back

2013 AEGON International, Players, Sam Stosur


By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

sam stosur 1Sam Stosur has set herself a mission at Eastbourne of causing some shock results in her determined to return to the world’s top 10.

The industrious Australian has only slipped out of the elite world ranking following a disappointing run at the 2013 French Open, coupled with recent injuries keeping her off the circuit.

But Stosur’s experience for winning titles – both at Singles and Doubles – coupled with her aggressive style of play and her infamous signature kick serve should cause problems for opponents during the grass season.

She only opted for wildcard entries at both Birmingham and Eastbourne at the very last minute having contemplated just practicing ahead of Wimbledon.

And although she will not be seeded at the 2013 AEGON International she truly does possess all the necessary weapons to cause havoc in the draw, although is unlikely to get further than the semi-finals. Yet her progress will be dependent on the draw as this year’s tournament has attracted the usual array of leading ladies.

But Stosur, troubled by a calf injury during the gruelling clay court season, is determined to get back on track both in terms of long-term fitness and world ranking.

As a Grand Slam champion at Singles, Ladies Doubles and Mixed Doubles, Stosur will biting at the chomp to make an impression at Devonshire Park ahead of her shot at making an impact at The Championships.

Stosur explained: “The way that I play is an aggressive style, fast and explosive. I try to get on the point as quickly as possible, and my overall work along with my coach puts it all into place.

“When I was very young, probably 10, I had a coach that taught me the correct technique to hit the serve the way that I hit it. And as I got older my serves got better, so I have the basis of everything that I need each time in my serve.

“I have the same routine before each match and for few years I have used a sports psychologist. I have learned what works for me to mentally get ready for a match, to get over a loss or to handle a big win.

“The mental side of things is important at this level because everyone can hit the ball pretty well, so I believe that what can really make the difference between winning and losing comes down to handling things mentally.

sam stosur eastbourne 2011“But moving from clay to grass I find that my ankles and joints are a little bit sore because of that gripping on the grass.

“And I have to be ready to adapt as quickly as possible, because on grass the ball doesn’t bounce so high – but as the years go on I try and do whatever I can before playing too much on that surface.”

Stosur will no doubt be seeking to play plenty of matches at Birmingham’s AEGON Classic in preparation for her return to Devonshire Park, having missed Eastbourne – arguably the world’s friendliest grass court tournament – last year to compete in Holland.

But with such an array of talent from the world’s top 10 vying for glory at Eastbourne, it is extremely doubtful that Stosur will go to SW19 having played too much tennis on grass. Although the battling Australian ace can never be discounted, and Devonshire Park has a history of unexpected champions.

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