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An Interview With: Samantha Stosur (Round 2)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Q. Fair to say you kind of steamrolled your second-round match today? How did you feel about the way you played?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I'm very happy with the way I played. I thought I played great from start to finish. Yeah, nice to get on and off very quickly, especially when it's hot and I've got doubles later today. Yeah, my first two matches have been really good.

Q. Was that one of the better serving performances you have had of late?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, probably. I was a bit surprised to see my percentages was only 48. I thought it was better than that. I guess I was winning a lot when I got it in. I mean, once I felt pretty comfortable I tried to keep going for it and play that kind of aggressive tennis. Yeah, overall I thought I served very well, and the rest of my game backed it up.

Q. Considering your first two matches, two straight-set wins, do you feel real good about the way you're playing?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I do. But there is no guarantee it's going to happen the next day you go on court. You have to keep working on it and not take anything for granted and, yeah, know that it's a new match and a new day and a new opponent and everything else. But, yeah, if you could be in the third round having played the way that I have played, I'd certainly take it.

Q. Considering the success you have had here a few years ago, do you still derive a lot of confidence? Have you been able to rise to the highest level in this tournament?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it certainly helps knowing that you have played some of your best tennis of your career over a two-week period on these courts and these conditions. Yeah, I mean, winning a Grand Slam is not easy, but knowing that you have actually done that certainly gives you confidence. Then when you do, you know, come back each year and you feel like you're playing well, it's a nice thing to kind of feed off. Yeah, I mean, it's always nice to come back to New York and play, especially having the 2011 result.

Q. There is a prospect of playing Sara Errani next. What are your thoughts about that? I think the last couple of times you played was a long time ago.

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, we have played quite a few times, and the last couple of times she's beaten me. There have been some pretty big matches. But, you know, this is different -- again, another situation and a court that I feel like I match up well against her on. I think we have actually played on Armstrong years ago, so that's gonna be -- even though I think all that, it's still going to be a tough match playing her given our history and some of the long battles we have had. I will look forward to that challenge if it ends up being here.

Q. How did you make your way to Flushing today?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I got a car today.

Q. Scooter?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah. (Laughter.)

Q. Does that sort of drive you in a way or peeve you?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Didn't help or hinder me in any way, shape, or form today going out to play. But, yeah, when you are still in the tournament you try and book a car they say you can't have one before 10:00 because you don't have a match, I don't think it's good enough. It's not just me. There have been many players in that situation. It's a Grand Slam. It's one of the biggest tournaments in the world. You got to be able to provide transport to players when they need it.

Q. (Indiscernible.)

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah.

Q. Do you think Serena got a car?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I'd say so. She kicked me off my practice court yesterday, too. A few issues, but it's all right.

Q. I actually wanted to ask you about practice courts. Is this the hardest slam with booking and timing and all that sort of stuff?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I had 45 minutes yesterday. I went on three different courts, so not ideal.

Q. Sometimes on those P courts that are off the grounds?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I try and avoid those ones.

Q. Why is that?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Because it takes like 20 minutes to walk there. It's nice to stay in the grounds if you can.

Q. Have they tried to improve that system? Have you noticed them trying to improve that system over the years here?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't know. I mean, since I won, you get maybe a little bit more help yesterday, but, look, there is only so much you can do with so much space and so many courts. There is obviously 200-something players here all wanting to practice and doing everything they need to to prepare. You can only do what you can do. But, yeah, it would be nice to have 45 minutes without interruption.

Q. Do you feel like there has been a lack of respect for a former champion?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: No. Like I said, I'm not trying to make a big deal about it. It's not just my situation. There are many players in the same boat. I think it's just a bad run of coincidences kind of the last couple of days. It's just the way it is.

Q. You have played inside the top 10 and outside it. What do you think are key differences between top 10 players and everyone else?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Definitely getting practice courts that you want -- I'm not talking about this tournament. I'm talking about in general. Yeah, you get practice courts more often when you want by yourself with your coach. You don't have to share. You just get priority over, you know, many different things. Like I said, you're the best in the world, so you deserve those little perks along the way if you can get them. Once you get them and then they go away, you want to get yourself back in there to keep getting them.

Q. Do you think people play you differently when you're in the top 10 versus outside it?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't think necessarily play you different, but I think there is that -- I don't know whether there is that little bit more of it's going to be harder or whatever. You want to get that scalp and you want to beat somebody in the top 10. People talk about having top-10 wins. They don't talk about having top-13 wins. I guess it's just one of the things. Being one of those players, yeah, everyone is out to get you. That's fine. That's the way it was. When I wasn't in there I wanted to beat as many top players as possible as well. I think it just gives you that little bit more or you've got nothing to lose and you can go out swinging. Sometimes that's the best situation to be in.

Q. Many athletes have experienced nerves in various situations and different sports. Serena has talked about it this week. What's been your experience, and in what situations have you experienced them and how have you sort of dealt with it?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, there is always pressure situations and pressure moments whether it's, you know, serving for a match or going into a match or, you know, trying to achieve something that hasn't been done for 20-something years, like she is now or trying to achieve something for the first time. I think it's all relative to each person. I mean, I'm sure we'd all love to kick back and say, You're No. 1 in the world. What have you got to worry about? Every time she goes out on court she's expected win. Someone ranked 105 is dying to get in the main draw of a Grand Slam, and they have all that pressure to do that, too. I think no matter who you are there's pressure on you. It just depends what for and at what level.

Q. Do you have special ways of kind of handling it?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think if we all knew we'd be fantastic all the time. I think it's one of the things you don't necessarily always know when it's going to hit you or how badly or how easily you go through it. I think the more times you experience those situations you learn to deal with it better. You know, I think that's why some of the best champions in the world, they still feel it, I'm sure, but they have been through that so many times to know what works for them to get through it the best way they can.

Q. Mardy Fish, Rafa have been talking about it, talking about the times when it has been particularly bad for them. Can you remember a certain match or moment where it was absolute worst possible nerves, anxiety?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, absolute worst one? Look, there has been many situations. I remember sitting in front of the locker room at the French Open before I played Francesca. I was talking to Dave, and Rafa actually walked out of the men's locker room. I was as nervous as anything, and I think Dave said to him as a joke, Rafa, do you have any tips for nerves? He said, No. When you work it out, tell me. He's a guy who had already won it five or six times or something. Like I said, I think it affects everyone. Yeah, as for the worst one, I can't pull one out right now.

Q. This tournament, out of all of the majors over the years has attracted more negativity from players and other aspects that come here for the event. Have you seen an improvement in the conditions, in things like practice, transport, et cetera, et cetera? Have you seen any sort of lift?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah. I think they are always trying to improve, and, you know, other parts of the tournament are fantastic. You know, they are always looking to improve things and make facilities better and everything else. I think it's just, like I said before about practice and all that, there is only so many courts here. Everybody wants their time slot and everything to be perfect for them. I understand it's not easy to take care of so many people all the time, but, you know, to run a tournament I'd be happy with good practice, transport, and laundry. That would be -- I'd be happy with that.

Q. The other thing is the other day this business of mid-match interviews debuted.

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Uh-huh.

Q. Would you agree to do something like that? What do you think of the concept?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Ah, well, I don't think I would agree to doing it this week, that's for sure. I don't know. I think it's a funny one. If I was playing Coco that day, I'd certainly want to know that that was going to be the case and that was going to happen. I think the person who comes on to ask the questions has to be very careful the way they may ask something, because it could definitely be a help or a hindrance, depending which way you look at it. So it's a funny one. I think tennis -- we have played it the same way for a very long time and people like it like that. Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily be so keen for it. Yeah, it is what it is.

Q. Were you asked today before your match if you would do an interview?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: No.

Q. You weren't asked?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: No.

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