Bouzkova too strong for Sam in Brisbane
BRISBANE, AAP – Sam Stosur’s lean record in Australia has continued after she was eliminated in the first round of the Brisbane International for the fifth time in six years.
The Gold Coast local fell 4-6 6-2 6-2 to Czech world No.139 Marie Bouzkova at Pat Rafter Arena on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old appeared set for a rare home soil victory after a strong opening set when she responded to being broken in the third game by breaking back twice.
But the 74th-ranked Stosur, who last reached the second round of her home tournament in 2016, fell away when qualifier Bouzkova hit her straps on serve.
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Bouzkova was unstoppable in the final two sets, losing just two points on her first serve as wildcard Stosur was left to rue being broken in the opening game of the second set after saving five break points.
“If I was able to hold that game, you never know. Maybe that gave her a bit of a sniff,” she said.
In nine visits to Brisbane, Stosur has not been beyond the second round.
The 2011 US Open champion will contest the Sydney International next week as she continues to tune up for Melbourne Park, where she has lost in the first round in her past three attempts and not made the third round since 2014.
She has a slightly better record at Homebush, reaching at least the second round in three of her last four visits.
Under new coach Nick Watkins, Stosur indicated this week she had taken a fresh approach to hardcourt – her lesser preferred surface to clay – in the off-season.
She was unperturbed by her form in the first-round loss as she irons out her game.
“It’s not a total disaster,” she said.
“She played well. I’m still really happy with quite a few things that I did out there and feel like I’ve still taken a step in the right direction.”