“I am actually enjoying it,” Sam says of grass
Sam Stosur comes into Wimbledon feeling the best on grass she has in a long time.
The Aussie veteran last week advanced to the semifinals in Mallorca, her best showing at a grass-court tournament in seven years.
With similarly hot, dry conditions forecast for London in the first week of the tournament, Stosur is finding that her game – better suited to slow, high-bouncing clay courts – is translating well to slicker lawns.
“I’m by no means saying I don’t think I can play on grass. I obviously can – I’ve won matches throughout the years, I’ve made semis of Eastbourne before. It’s just probably more about the mindset than anything else,” she told a small gathering of media at Wimbledon on Friday.
“I feel really good. It’s probably some of the best tennis I’ve played on grass in recent years. (I’ve had) a bit more time on it – I ended up playing an extra week in Nottingham after I went out a bit earlier in the French than what I would have liked. So I think just having even that extra week has probably helped a lot.
“I’ve just made a really conscious effort to try and stay up closer to the baseline and not do some of the things that I feel most comfortable on clay (laughter). Really worked hard to stay closer, take the ball a bit earlier, move forward whenever I can.
“Josh (Eagle) and I had a really good talk in Mallorca when he arrived … he’s just been really good being on me to stick with it and every single time, just play each point the way you now you kind of need to.
“I am actually enjoying it. Sometimes a little out of my comfort zone, what I’m trying to do but it’s good, it’s fun. And I’ve really tried to have a different outlook on it (laughter) that maybe what I’ve had sometimes coming here.”
Stosur opens her singles campaign against Peng Shuai, the Chinese former world No.14 against whom Stosur is 8-1.
They’ve never before played on grass, but Stosur is confident against a player she knows she can beat.
“We played in Strasbourg last year, Miami, and had a couple of really long, tough three-setters. So she’s definitely a quality player,” Stosur said.
“I think her game actually probably matches up quite well on the grass. Takes the ball early and hits it flat and all that sort of thing. So it’s certainly going to be I think a fast-paced match.
“I guess having played her that last couple of times in the last couple of years and had some wins, that obviously makes you feel a little bit better.”
Stosur will meet Peng in the first round on Tuesday.