Sam ready for Wozniacki challenge
NEW YORK, AAP – Sam Stosur accepts she received a rough draw when pitted against reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki in the marquee first-round match of the US Open.
“But I know that she’s not going to want to play me first round either,” Australia’s former champion said ahead of their Arthur Ashe Stadium duel on Tuesday.
Stosur’s positivity stems from five victories over the world No.2 in a friendly rivalry that stretches over 10 years.
Several of those wins have come on big stages and give Stosur the belief she can cause an early boilover on the very same court on which the Australian underdog brought down Serena Williams in the 2011 final.
“We’ve played each other 12 times so we know each other’s games well,” Stosur said.
“We’ve also practised together a bunch of times so it’s going to be a tough one for both us. We know what we’re going to get. It’s a matter of who’s going to go out and play better on Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great test playing someone of her calibre now and I get to play out on Ashe again, which is great.”
Now 34 and ranked 64th in the world after a injury-marred 2017 season, Stosur still packs a formidable one-two punch and plans on unleashing it on the Danish retriever.
“I know I’m going to have to play my style, which is aggressive and trying to be imposing with that,” Stosur said.
“Against someone like her, you know she’s going to run a lot of balls down. You might have to feel like you’re hitting two winners a point to win a point.
“She’s going to dig and fight and make you play another ball all the time and so it’s finding that balance between what’s aggressive and what’s out of control.”
Stosur is also facing Wozniacki at a seemingly opportune time, with the second seed having retired from her last match in Cincinnati with a shoulder problem and having nursed a leg injury since Wimbledon.
“She actually hasn’t played many matches since Eastbourne,” Stosur noted.
“I’ve played six or so – you always want more than that – but I actually feel I’ve had more court time than her in recent weeks.
“You can’t really read into it. Someone like her, she’s not going to compete if she’s not ready to give it everything, but you never know how much that’s playing on their mind either.”