Sam Stosur, Melbourne, 2012. GETTY IMAGES

Sam out of Australian Open 2012

Update: Samantha Stosur made no attempt to disguise her devastation after her first-round defeat at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

“I’m probably very close to crying, having a really awful night,” Stosur said after becoming the first women’s US Open winner in 45 years of professional tennis to subsequently fall in the first round of the Australian Open.

“But I think you feel what you feel, whether it’s good or bad. It’s hard to suppress those emotions when it means so much to you.”

Stosur’s Open campaign lasted 91 minutes before the 27-year-old bowed out with a 7-6 (2) 6-3 defeat to Romania’s world No.59 Sorana Cirstea, a player she’d crushed in straight sets in both their previous meetings.

But having reigned in New York last September just two months after succumbing in the first round at Wimbledon, Stosur refuses to believe she won’t one day achieve her dream of winning the Australian Open.

“The last few years I got beaten by players who definitely played better than me on the day,” Stosur said.

“Third, fourth rounds obviously aren’t where you want to go, but certainly better than a first round. All you can do is come back next year and keep trying.

“Obviously, it’s not hard to improve on a first-round loss.

“I’ve got the rest of the year obviously. Of course I want to do better here, but I can’t think that, `oh, because this month didn’t go the way I wanted it to, the year is shot either’.

“It’s not going to deter me from doing what I want to do. If anything, it will probably spur me on to try even harder and do even more.”

But carrying the hopes of a nation, Stosur conceded she may have tried too hard to deliver.

“Of course I wanted to do very well here. You want it to come right now,” she said.

“That’s sport. Unfortunately you can’t pick and choose when it’s all going to happen for you.”

After a second-round loss in Brisbane and first-round demise in Sydney, Stosur arrived in Melbourne down on confidence and openly admitting to struggling under the weight of expectation.

“It affects you physically,” she said.

“That’s probably the easiest sign for the outside people to see … to see that you tighten up, your shoulders do get tight, you don’t hit through the ball.

“When anyone’s nervous, I think the first thing that goes is your footwork. You don’t move your feet as well. Once that breaks down, it’s easy for other things to start breaking down.”

Stosur’s 21-year-old conqueror said post-match that “probably the whole country hates me right now”.

Stosur, though, paid tribute to Cirstea and said no Australian could feel more disappointed than her.

“There’s nothing probably more than my expectation. I really, really wanted to do well here and over the summer,” she said.

“I did everything I could to try and give myself a good opportunity. It obviously didn’t happen.”

  • Not many people in the world could possibly imagine how you must feel right now. To play in front of a packed stadium, in front of your whole nation watching you, judging you. And, even worse, in front of your own hopes and expectations. It might help a little bit that Cirstea played really good tennis today. But, no, nothing helps right now, I guess. There is no other way: you simply must go through it and grow from it. If you do it right, it will strengthen you a lot. Do it right then!

  • In Sam We Trust. 2012 has just started. More victories to come!! Go Sam!! We love you from the bottom of our hearts <3

  • Jim

    Bummer Sam, but don’t get to down on yourself. This Aussie season was not one you’ll want to remember, but you’re not alone in feeling the pressure. Today Sorana just went for everything with nothing to lose and it came off for her. I could see you were desparately trying to find a way to break her down, but you were understandably very tight so it was tough for you. And it looks kike the court conditions did you no favours either, your big weapons weren’t really hurting her too much even when they were firing. Shrug this one off Sam, take a break and come back fresh in the following tournaments. Away from Australia the pressure will drop off, and hopefully the courts will be a bit kinder to you as well. Love ya Sam!

  • Nick

    Hey Sam, tough luck today Tiger. You are still a champion, but we all have bad days. Chin up and on to the next one. Still my favorite women’s player on the tour.

  • Hava Mendelle

    Next time Sam. We believe in you and you’ve got the rest of the year :)

  • Phil

    Don’t worry about Aust Open 2012 plenty more to come. You won US Open without sunglasses can you please stop wearing them in a match, no one has won a slam wearing sunglasses.

  • Liliane (France)

    Sammy, tes fans sont toujours avec toi. Tristes pour toi. On t’aime. Tu gagneras encore. Et tu nous montreras ton plus beau tennis. Allez un sourire !

  • BKB

    Bad luck Sammy, I was really hoping you would do well this year. At least now you can enjoy the nice weather.  Onward and upward! x

  • Carine from france

    No Sammy the country few not to hate you. He does not owe him. You place you did not steal her. Kept silent rest the best, a winner. It was not simply your day. You will win next time. Courage. You are a fighter. Bye

  • AM

    Today was not your day. You’ve already achieved so much, and have so much more to do, a loss in the AO will just be a blip on the radar for you in the coming year – I am sure. 
    Best wishes for 2012. 

  • Chris

    Hey Sam despite the start here in Oz, you still have the rest of the year to shine and just be you

  • Bruce

    Dear Sam, tough loss today but life goes on and your life is great and your game is great too so you have nothing to worry about. You are were a gracious loser today and you are always a gracious winner too so you are all class which is what I love most about you. 
    I can’t wait to see you play again. Your tennis brings me a lot of joy and I will always be your biggest fan whether you win or lose.
    I just wish you had entered the doubles as well :)

  • Guest

    Don’t be upset – take some time out and relax. You  put a lot of pressure on yourself.

  • Chriss

    Think the pressure and expectations are quite strong – but there is always another time and play. Good luck for the upcoming tournaments

  • Gordon Sauve

    This was just hiccup.  There’s a whole season to come.  You’re still number one here.

  • Wangangela0

    Sam, we will always be behind you. We believe in you!

  • Blinky

    Gday Sam if you ever read this, the solution to nerves etc is to stop talking to the press and stop thinking so much. Great players are able to shut out the negative thoughts and just play. I dont know why you actually play the game. If its just a job or you are driven to win at all costs you are missing the point. Either start enjoying playing or give up. An aussie supporter and hopefully honest critic. Go Sam….

  • Ivo

    stand up Sam,next time you will do it.
    Days like these just happen,good luck for the future! :-)

  • Jessica

    Sammy! Let go of the loss! It’s disappointing, sure – but this is only the beginning of what can surely still be a wonderfully successful year. By mid season this will likely measure up as a blip on the screen. Let your tennis shine. Ups and downs come and go – your fans understand that and hope you stay healthy and strong and continue to find the tennis level your capable of. Best wishes for the rest of the seson… it’s not a sprint. Your efforts and your team’s efforts will be rewarded some more – no doubt about that.

    Your a solid competitor, a stellar athlete…. wishing you many successes this 2012 season!!!
     

  • Kim L. Patterson

    Samantha, stay positive and focused and press on.  You have so much more tennis to play!
    Let’s rock ‘n’ roll!

  • Jim

    It was hard to see you looking so sad at your post-match interview Sam. Of course you’re disappointed and frustrated not to be able to play your best tennis at your home slam, but when the dust has settled I hope you realize that it’s no big deal. You did your country as well as all your many fans around the world proud when you won the USO in such impressive fashion in September. Even if you were to never again achieve that level of performance it is something you can be truly and deeply proud of. You can also be proud of the way you carry yourself, through the high points as well as the lows, you always remain the same level headed, kind-spirited adorable Sam we all love. And on tough days like this you always look the world in the eye and tell it like it is, not trying to gloss it over as many others do. In fact I am convinced there will be many more high points in your career before it is over, and that this loss will turn out to be nothing more than an unfortunate blip that will be forgotten in time. You are strong Sam, you’ve shown that time and time again, and you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start over again like you’ve done so many time before. Supporting you always!

  • Susan McCarthy

    Sam Stosur I’m really disappointed that you’ve played so poorly in Australia this season and you must feel very frustrated, but in order to be a champion you have to believe that you are one! The day you played Francesca Schiavone in Paris she came out with all guns firing and she backed herself! She looked like a champion! Look at your compatriot, Lleyton Hewitt, he still looks like a champion because heading into every match, win or lose, he believes he can win! Serena Williams, Marion Bartoli, Schiavone, Wozniaki, Sharapova – look at the self-belief on their faces! You can be a champion, but you have to believe that you can be and that you deserve the title. At the moment, you are the winner of a Grand Slam, not a champion! When you beat Serena you looked like a champion, but not over the past few weeks. A champion is a winner, week in week out, in Australia or elsewhere, on grass, hard court or clay, pressure or no pressure. You have all the technical skills, you are fit and strong, but you still don’t believe you are a champion. When you start thinking you are, you will be and this crazy inconsistency will be in your past. I believe you can do it, but you have to believe it! Good luck.

  • Lm Lillis

    Sam your talent is unquestionable…. Your letting your head rule your game, just chill girl. And your natural game will take over.

  • Yuko Ustar

    Hi Sam,

    I’m sure you’re feeling awful right now but I remember when Boris Becker lost early at Wimbledon, the shocked press were all over him but Boris was cool, he said” you know, it’s not like I died in a war, I’ll be back and win it again” and he did, so can you.
    You’re a fantastic athlete, a top ten tennis player in the world, a good head on your shoulders, polite, no garbage mouth, you look nice, I mean you’re just great !!  So you messed up a few tournaments(so what?), luckily it’s only January, you’ve got the rest of the year coming, so go Sam, go beat them girls !!!  I’ll be cheering for you from Los Angeles(as always)!!

    Yuko Ustar

  • guest

    Sammy! I’m your biggest fan – win or lose – you are my No.1! Hey, of course I wished you won with Cirstea but I enjoyed watching you – Loved your new outfit, you looked super cute and in perfect shape – very inspiring and-  HOT!!

  • Tennisvetjulie

    Sammy, I hope you are feeling better after your loss. Be gentle with yourself.  You are a proven great player AND a great person.  Any fluke or bad night can lead to an unexpected loss but no fluke is going to make you a US Open champion.  Hold your head up girl!  Your fans are the good kind — through thick and thin.  You are my favorite player on the tour no matter what place you end up in.  I think most club players that watch tennis like to emulate the strokes and attitudes of their favorites.  I hit your inside out forehand all the time and feel JUST like you doing it!!  Ha ha!  Take a deep breath, get right back on that horse (or koala maybe in your case! lol), and continue showing us what a fighter you are.  I’m in Sarasota so if you need a hitting partner down here, just let me know.  You have no bigger fan in Florida (or probably the world!).  Take care.

  • Bia Balbis

    Continue focando em seus objetivos Sam. Minha torcida por você continua forte aqui do Brasil!! Beijos!

  • stephie

    Sam I wish you a really good year in 2012. You are such a talented player and will have much success despite a first round loss in the australian open. You are a fighter and such an inspirational player to me. Keep it up gorgeous gal. 

  • don

    To Samantha Stosur,
    I have just been watching the first few games of Errani vs Kvitova at Aust Open. Errani managed to slow the game down and even if she doesnt win , I think that is the way to beat all the top players most of whom like to hit the ball hard. Kvitova started off hitting everything in sight then started to make mistakes. She had 4 times as many mistakes as Errani. That could be it- get them making mistakes by not giving them any pace to hit.
    Just a thought!
    DON
    (elderly Aussie from Brisbane at present in NZ)

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