Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stosur wins in shaky start in 2011

Australia's highest-ranked player Sam Stosur had a shaky start to her first match of 2011 but then let her superior class flow for a 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 win.

The unfortunate player on the receiving end was qualifier Lucie Hradecka, who has been a top-60 player but is currently ranked 110.

Hradecka was on somewhat of a winning streak before she hit Stosur's wall. The Czech had won five matches to claim a Futures event overseas before her three wins in qualifying for her right to start in the main singles of the Brisbane International.

And the Prague 25-year-old raced to 4-1 in the first set before a capacity 5000-strong Pat Rafter Arena crowd.

Stosur looked as confused as some of her shot selections early in the first set. Then again it was the world No.6's first match since losing to Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals of the WTA Championships in Doha last November.

Stosur hit her straps and saved set points in the ninth game to level at 5-5 and then forced the set into a tiebreaker, racing away to claim it 7-1.

In the second set Stosur was on a roll. The serve was sharper, the groundstrokes were harder and more angled and it was the Australian who jumped out to a 4-0 lead. She has not lost to a player outside the top 100 in 17 months.

It was the fifth game before Hradecka held serve but by then it was too late. Stosur only needed one match point to wrap things up and now faces fellow Australian and world No.42, Jarmila Groth, in the second round.

Meanwhile, former world No.10 Daniela Hantuchova has been forced to withdraw from the tournament just hours before her first scheduled match against Russian Anna Chakvetadze.

The WTA medical staff said the 27-year-old Slovakian had a partial tear to her left Achilles tendon. It is not yet known if she will be fit enough to play the Australian Open in two weeks (January 17-31).


Carlos said...

Out of context but the ridiculous statement of the day comes from The Big Stuff Bunny. In the press conference in Thailand she said that she doesn't have a deadline for winning a slam, she said, "I don't set deadlines". Last year she had set the goal to be in the top ten before the year was over, when she reached the top ten she said that her goal was to reach the number one ranking. The Bunny is talking with both sides of her mouth because pressure is getting to her.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Hmm, too me that sounds like The Bunny is trying to convince her self that she is worthy of top spot, which she doesn't deserve! She has the wrong game, and no mental strength! Sadly I don't think she will do anything big in 2011, and slide to maybe just on edge of the 10! She's trying to make it look like she can be world number one at a slam, she was top seed at the US Open but didn't have the pressure of world number one, now she does, I don't see her going far.

Carlos said...

I think the Bunny has game to be in the top ten but not in the top five, much less to be the number player in the world. She has benefited from the on court coaching. She gets into trouble and daddy bails her out. In the slams since there is no on court coaching when she gets into trouble she gets caught like a deer in the headlights and is all over from the get go. Take away on court coaching and she would be a player ranked around 15 with probably half the titles. BTW of the six major titles she hasn't won any of them reeks of Demetieva.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

I absolutely HATE the on court coaching rule! I just can't stand it! Its pathetic, The best players, Serena, Kim, Venus and Justine, have never called their coach! Its stupid, If you can't make it through a match with out assistance from a coach, you shouldn't be out there! Yeah and just as Demetieva was leaving, a new one was ready to take prime! I assume your big six are the some ones considered the big six from me: the four slams, year end and Miami?

Carlos said...

Not quite the only exception is Indian Wells. I had to go with the one geographically close to me. :P But since you brought it up I'll make it the top 7 (I can make reference to 7 deadly sins, X tennis player and the 7 dwarfs, or the 7 rings of hell). :P

I don't like the on court coaching either. I remember seeing Mrs. Graff reading notes on the change overs. Why don't players do that?

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Yes the "7 rings of hell" I personally have always considered Miami bigger than Indian Wells :P

I believe Serena has done the same thing, I believe she has a little book, fittingly cover in Wonder Woman paper, just with little notes in it! Maybe the players just was the extra break time! And Samantha Stosur used to have motivational words written on her taping/wrist bands.

Carlos said...

I forgot, if Dani H. has a torn achilles tendon she at least will be out a third of the season. To me she is the ultimate choker, the match against a cramping Serena signified what type of player she really is.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Dani invented choking! I remember that Wimbledon match very well, as I was there! I suppose in Dani's defense Serena is the greatest fighter on tour, how ever, there is no way she should have lost that match, but also to loose the 3rd set 6-2! I do admit though, when they game back from the rain delay I thought Serena would take it in the tie breaker

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