IBM: See tennis in a new way. Tennis data + IBM = More than the score.Find Tickets Online at ticketmaster

An Interview With: Samantha Stosur (Round 3)

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Q. Good one to get through. You dictated play again.

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, definitely an up-and-down match. Came out playing really great for the first three games, and then lost four. Eventually won that set. And, yeah, would have been pretty disappointed if I ended up losing that first set given how well I had played the start of the set. Yeah, kind of lost my way early in that second set, and she kind of, yeah, got control of the match again. Yeah, for the changeover for the third I just kind of sat there and told myself to calm down and, yeah, really talk about what was going on and focus on my service games. I was able to come out and play really well start of the third, and that obviously led to playing well again.

Q. Are you happy with the way you're going?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, look, I'm happy to be in the second week. Happy with the way I'm playing. There is always things you want to improve and get better at, but you can only do what you do on any given day. Sara is a tricky opponent. I lost the last two times we played. I'm pleased to get through that and see what happens in the next one.

Q. Even though you have managed to manage your expectations over the course of your career, given your personality, do you prefer to fly under the radar a bit more?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Doesn't really bother me. I'm happy to keep things low key. But, yeah.

Q. You said you were telling yourself to calm down at the changeover.

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I felt like I was kind of not doing the right thing enough of the time. Look, she started changing things up and playing well. She's tricky to play against. I felt like I kind of just let things happen too quickly. When I was able to be in control, like in my service games I'm in control of the point to begin with and I wasn't able to do that. Yeah, I wanted to calm down in a sense of, okay, refocus on what I had to be doing specifically to take control of the points early on.

Q. Obviously winning matches is confidence boosting, but when it's against a player you have struggled with before, does it give you more of a confidence boost to do it against a trickier opponent?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah. Like you said, any win is a good win, especially in a Grand Slam, but I'm really pleased with the way I was able to again gain back that control that I said and get through that. It's not, yeah, it's not always easy. Third round. Wanted to get back to the fourth round here, so no matter who I was playing against it was going to be tough. I did what I had to do, and that's what I'm happy with.

Q. Do you attribute switching up your schedule this summer playing a couple smaller tournaments, getting those extra matches under your belt, rounding into form now kind of at the right moment?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I mean, yeah, it could be the difference. Who knows? You never know. But I'm pleased with the schedule that I have picked year. Been to some different events. I mean, yeah, any tournament that you can go to and win or do well in I think is a good, you know, result. So, yeah, I mean, it's easy to just do the same thing year after year after year, and so I'm pleased that the changes I made, they obviously paid off.

Q. I'm curious, you're one of the rare players who plays in sunglasses. How did that happen? Are there other players who are sometimes curious about that? I'm surprised more tennis players don't wear sunglasses. You play in the sun all the time.

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, yeah. I started wearing them when I was about 14 just because I thought I'd look cool and be different. (Laughter.) That was honestly the reason that I wanted to start wearing them. As I got older it became just what I did, and now I can't play without them.

Q. Does it help at all with serving in the sun, with the toss and everything?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, it does. I don't wear really dark lenses. Even if I'm serving right into the sun I still probably squint a little bit. Just more with the glare off the court and all that kind of thing, I have tried playing without and I can't do it.

Q. Obviously anybody going into a tournament wants to be able to win it, but you were just saying that you wanted to get to the fourth round over here. Did you actually set yourself some sort of a target for this US Open?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: No. I wanted to get in the fourth round because I was in the third round today. I didn't come out before the week and say, If I get to the fourth round I'd be happy. No, I didn't make that goal.

Q. So much of these storyline of this tournament has been about Serena and history and that kind of stuff. Generally, besides that stuff, what impact, what positive impact has she had on the game, clearly the women's game or your personal game? Is it overstated or can it be overstated?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, I think what gets said about her, she deserves that. She has done a lot for women's tennis. Yeah, I mean, I don't think you could say enough for what she's been able to achieve. She's obviously trying to do something that's very, very rare right now and doesn't happen very often, and that's remarkable. I mean, we all get to play in the same era as her. And, I mean, she has been very dominant for most of her career. So, no, I think whatever, you know, positive, good things get said, she deserves.

Q. A lot of times they refer to her or women athletes as you're a great woman athlete. Do you think she can break that box just saying great athlete and not a great woman athlete?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: She is a great athlete, man or woman. I think there are a lot of guys who would love to be able to do what she can do, especially on a tennis court. I wouldn't necessarily just limit it to that by any means.

Q. Do you recall a time in your career when you played someone that maybe you grew up admiring, and do you remember what that felt like?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, two players that I really -- one of my idols was Steffi Graf and Monica Seles, and they both stopped before I came out on tour. But I do remember playing my first Australian Open. If I won my first round I would have had to play Martina Hingis I ended up losing my first round because I was so freaked out that if I had won I was going to have to play Martina Hingis in the next round. I learnt a lesson there not to get too far ahead of yourself and play it as it comes.

Q. You potentially might have a tricky player next, Pennetta. What do you need to do to sort of turn that around?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, something I have never done before. I have never beaten her before. I think we have played six times. If it's against Flavia I really need to knuckle down and be clear with what I want to do and what tactics are going to work for me and how I can continually make that happen. I know that playing against her I find it very difficult. She can take some of my weapons away, which is why I find it hard. So, yeah, if I end up playing her I'm going to have to be really switched on.

Q. The question just now was about Serena and the calendar year Grand Slam. She seems to be throwing that out the window and just saying, Oh, I've got the Serena slam. It sounds like that means a bigger deal to her than the calendar Grand Slam, which is the historical aspect. If you had a Sam Slam and you were also going for a calendar Grand Slam, what would be a bigger factor for you, and do you understand what her reasoning is?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I mean, I guess, you know, in her mind she's trying to play it down in a sense. I mean, it's amazing regardless, whether it stays the way it is or whether she gets the calendar slam and makes it five in a row. Either way, you know, everybody else has got to admire. I mean, if I was in that position, I'd probably try and play it down too and not think of it as such a huge, big deal and want it playing on my mind all the time, as well.

Q. There is a possibility where we are one match away from another match of Serena and Venus. When you think of the two of them playing each other, as many times as they have over so many years and all the baggage that's involved, what's your perspective as an outsider watching that?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, I couldn't imagine playing my sister, if I had a sister, in a match, let alone under this circumstance -- they have obviously done it lots of times in Grand Slams, but given what's at stake and on the line, I find it very difficult.

Q. When you have watched it over the years, what have been your thoughts as you have seen them slug it out?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I mean, I guess they know each other's game better than anyone, and trying to do that and just play -- I guess that's the ultimate point by point and take almost all emotion, if you can do that, out of it. Just play tennis, step up to the line of play. I think they managed to do that very well, and obviously conduct themselves remarkably well when they do have to play each other.

Q. Does your recent history of playing doubles with Flavia help you at all coming into that match if it turns out it's her?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't know. We only played a couple of times, but I guess there are little things you do pick up when you've played with somebody. But, I mean, we played against each other enough times and practiced together enough times to kind of know little things, as well. Yeah, I don't know whether it makes a huge difference.

Q. If you don't play Flavia? Thoughts on the other prospective opponent?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: We have played a couple of times, I think. Maybe the last time was in Madrid. I have played well against her and won. She's obviously having a great run here. I watched the end of her match with Caroline the other night. Yeah, I guess she's just kind of freewheeling and free swinging. Special ranking, kind of had nothing lose, and now she's obviously battling it out to get to the fourth round. She obviously is going to be feeling good about herself if I end up playing against her. No matter who it is, you have to be switched on and on the ball.

Q. When you walked into the grounds this year, specifically this year, what kind of emotions take over? Do you let 2011 slip into your head for a second?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, every year I've come back it kind of sinks into your head. You walk through the corridor and you see your picture and you have a little smile. Yeah, it's always a nice feeling to come back here to this place where I have obviously had great success.

Comments