Stosur primed to go it alone in Doha
Originally published on: 26/10/10 15:10
A three-time doubles champ at the WTA Championships, Sam Stosur begins her quest to become the first Australian woman since Evonne Cawley in 1976 to win the season-ending showpiece.
Describing the Doha tournament as “a huge event,” Stosur, who has only ever featured in the WTA Championships with a doubles partner, is delighted to be taking centre stage in the singles.
“It is a privilege to be playing against the best players in the world,” said the Aussie. “I think it really brings out, or hopefully will bring out, the best tennis in all of us, and we can have some really good, competitive matches.”
The 26-year-old has been drawn in the Maroon Group, alongside world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, Elena Dementieva and Francesca Schiavone.
“I would love to obviously get through the round robin stage,” admitted Stosur. “From there you never know. First things first. You’ve got to play three matches and see how you go there.”
And the Aussie will begin her campaign with a rematch against her Roland Garros conqueror Schiavone, who despite that heartbreaking final defeat does hold a 4-2 winning record over the Italian.
Stosur is renowned for being one of the strongest athletes on tour, but even with the added experience of winning in Doha (twice with partner Lisa Raymond) she is still wary of the intense climate.
“It’s tough conditions outside. It’s very hot and humid. So I think conditioning and really being able to get used to the heat before playing those matches is going to be key,” said Stosur.
If she wins in Doha, the 26-year-old would join a select group of women (Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis, Jana Novotna and Lindsay Davenport) to have won both doubles and singles titles.
And while she has a good six years on world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, the Australian hopes that a good run at the tournament could see her emulate the Dane’s feat in reaching the top of the singles ladder.
“I’m a little bit older than Caroline, but I still feel young enough to be able to play out here for another four or five years yet,” said Stosur.
“It’s the best time of my career so far. If I can keep going the way I’m going, hopefully I can get up there or close to there as well.”