Stosur passes first round test
World No.8 Sam Stosur says she has high expectations this clay court season, after overcoming Gisela Dulko 7-6(3) 7-5 at the Madrid Open.
Despite a close scoreline, the Queenslander faced only two break points during her first round win, which sets up a meeting with Rome champion Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.
The 26-year old landed six aces against Dulko, saving her best tennis for the business end of both sets.
Stosur stepped up her game in the first set tiebreaker, opening up a 3-0 lead before closing it out. Likewise in the second she broke her opponent at 5-5, allowing her to serve out the match.
“(With) Gisela making the finals in Rome in the doubles, having a pretty short preparation to play I think was a pretty good match,” Stosur said. “Considering the conditions and everything I thought we played quite well.
“Hopefully after getting past that first round I can feel a little bit better about my game and keep trying to play well, but the next one’s definitely going to be pretty hard.”
After a fine start to the clay season – with one title from two finals – the Australian No.1 said she expects more of herself than last year, when she made the semifinals of Roland Garros.
“I can’t complain about my results so far this year on clay. So far everything’s been going quite well (but) playing here in Madrid it’s so different to playing in Stuttgart and Charleston where I did well.
“(This year is) going to be a little bit different – this is the first Grand Slam I had done really well the year before and so that’s going to be something new, and I’ll try and handle all that.
“But the way I’ve been playing and the way I’m feeling at the moment, I’ve just got to go in there and play. I think when I’ve had my best results I haven’t worried about anything else.”
Martinez Sanchez received a first round bye after defeating Jelena Jankovic last week for the biggest title of her career. Stosur leads their head-to-head series 2-1 after clinching two victories in 2010 – the most recent a three-set tussle at Indian Wells.