More grass woes as Stosur falls to Woz

Wimbledon and anxiety usually go hand-in-hand for Samantha Stosur.


So Australia’s top-ranked tennis player isn’t letting another short-lived preparation get her down ahead of the grass court grand slam next week.

Stosur’s latest setback on her least favoured surface came in a 7-4 6-4 first-round defeat to eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki at Eastbourne on Monday.

While landing the former world No.1 – who is ranked one place higher than her at 16th – in the first round was a tough break, the Australian certainly had her chances.

Stosur led in both sets, breaking serve in the opening games, only to let the Dane back into the match at critical times.

“It was another match where I definitely had enough opportunities,” Stosur said.

The defeat follows a second-round loss to compatriot Casey Dellacqua in Birmingham last week and Stosur will head into the biggest event of the season having lost two of three matches on grass.

With the bulk of her success earned on clay and hard courts, Stosur has struggled to make an impact at Wimbledon.

She matched her best result by reaching the third round last year and Stosur says she will, like always, approach next week with a mix of excitement and worry.

“I love Wimbledon. It’s an amazing place and I love playing there,” Stosur said.

“But I guess there is that side of the anxiety or sometimes panic a little bit where I know I need to do these couple of things well for me to play and maybe they are things I don’t always feel quite so comfortable with.

“I guess as each year goes by I want to try and get a better result as well.

“It hasn’t quite happened but that’s what I want to try and do this year.”

Stosur insists she’s felt comfortable on the grass in recent weeks and believes her problem is that she’s letting her opponents off the hook rather than anything to do with the surface.

The Australian served for the first set against Wozniacki before losing three straight games.

She won the first set impressively against Dellacqua in Birmingham, as she did in losing to eventual champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round of the French Open.

“I seem to be starting out matches really well,” Stosur said.

“At the end of the day, I’m not finishing things off.”

Stosur said her first-round defeat would at least allow a solid week of training with coach Miles Maclagan heading into Wimbledon.

Despite the Brit’s grass court experience, Stosur said she hadn’t drastically altered her approach this year.

“I think a huge part of it at the moment is the execution rather than what I’m trying to do out there,” Stosur said.