Stosur ready to face the pressure in ranking-rise bid

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian player Samantha Stosur said Wednesday that she feels in the perfect position to make an impression during the fast-approaching 2011 season — thanks to her ability to train for the Australian Open at home.

“I’m one of the few players that are here now training — on the court, in the sun, getting used to the conditions,” she told local media. “I think it can only help throughout January.”

World number six Stosur, semi-finalist and finalist at the last two French Open editions, said her rivals have to deal with the tyranny of geography at the start of the season, now little more than a fortnight away.

“It’s not so easy for the Europeans who have been in winter or training somewhere else. They’ve got a long flight over here, a short preparation going into the first couple of tournaments, so hopefully it will put me in a good spot.”

Stosur ended 2010 with a semi-final at the year-end WTA Championships in Doha and is now back training after three weeks off.

She is hoping for a top-four seeding at the Australian Open from Jan 17, given the fact that Serena Williams will not be playing. But the plan requires her to climb one ranking place at the expense of Venus Williams at her first event of the season in Brisbane from Jan 2, where the Aussie will play as top seed.

Stosur said the pressure got to her at last January’s edition of the home Open, where she lost in the fourth round. But she hopes this time will be different.

“I thought I was ready for all the hype and the extra attention, but didn’t really handle it too well in the first couple of weeks. But as the Aussie Open went on, I started to feel a bit more comfortable and started playing quite well.

“Now, I think I’ll be much better prepared,” she said.

will not be displayed