Winning start for Sam in Sydney
Sam Stosur snapped a seven-match losing streak with a resounding performance against Dominika Cibulkova on Monday night to reach the second round of the Sydney International.
Playing under lights at Ken Rosewall Arena, Stosur recovered to win 3-6 6-3 6-4, her first match win since August’s Connecticut Open in New Haven.
Her victory extended her head-to-head dominance to 6-2 over Cibulkova.
"I'm just gonna enjoy it!"
— #SydneyTennis (@SydneyTennis) January 7, 2019
This was their first ever match that extended to three sets, and it saw Stosur at her free-swinging, aggressive best; she crunched 15 aces among 44 winners and won 77 per cent of her first-serve points, while Cibulkova managed just 24 winners.
“I’m really happy. I thought I played really well, and as the match went on I got better and better,” Stosur said.
“I thought I served great. Was really confident going into that last game because of all the momentum I felt like I had. Yeah, obviously really pleased.”
Stosur lost her first-round match in Brisbane last week, the fourth time in the past five years she has lost her opening hit-out at the Queensland tournament.
Sydney, however, has proven a happier hunting ground; Stosur has won five of her past eight matches at Sydney Olympic Park, advancing to the quarterfinals in 2016.
“It’s a lot easier said than done to play relaxed and all that, but it’s kind of been something I have been obviously focusing on, trying to show more positivity and try and feed off the crowd and use all that,” Stosur explained.
“That’s kind of been in the forefront of my mind. It’s probably been for a little while, actually. And now I feel like I’m starting to be able to do that. It’s not something you can probably start showing straightaway, necessarily.
“I think that’s exactly kind of what happened tonight. Yeah, it was great fun.”
She next faces Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, who upset ninth seed Anastasija Sevastova in three tight sets.