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Sam Stosur knocked out in first round at Wimbledon

Sam Stosur plays a forehand return to Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer on Monday.

Sam Stosur plays a forehand return to Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer on Monday. Photo: AFP

Having already acknowledged she was not going to win the title at Wimbledon, Sam Stosur would nevertheless have hoped to win at least one match. Instead, the only seeded Australian was eliminated on the opening day by Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-4. Grass has never been her surface. It still isn't.

Stosur’s best at Wimbledon of two third rounds in, now, 12 attempts makes it easily her worst grand slam, but if expectations are generally lower in London than elsewhere, the 2011 US Open champion had gained some encouragement from an improved performance at the All England Club last year, and won all three of her previous matches against Wickmayer, ranked 52 places below her at No.69.

The signs were ominous from the first game, however, with three Stosur errors and a return winner from Wickmayer contributing to an immediate service break, which preceded a strong hold from the aggressive Belgian. It was catch-up thereafter, but opportunities were limited, and no game even went to deuce until the eighth.

When Stosur was broken again in the ninth game, the first set had been conceded in 31 minutes. Seven of the Queenslander's 12 winners were aces, but she was being pushed around by the aggressive Wickmayer forehand, and unable to conjure a similarly forthright response.

Stosur's kick serve and topspin forehand are not the weapons on grass that they are on clay, and very little went her way on the lush day one lawns. Her movement was uncertain, her confidence low. An unlucky net cord at deuce and then a netted forehand confirmed the decisive break in the second set as the errors mounted, and it was only when Wickmayer served for the match at 5-3 that Stosur converted the first of her four break-point opportunities to claw back into the match.

The recovery was short-lived however, as Stosur was immediately under pressure again, saving one match point before being beaten by a final cross-court forehand winner on the second, the contest over in 69 minutes.

It was Stosur’s first loss since splitting with coach Miles Maclagan after a partnership of just seven months, and her fifth loss this season to an opponent ranked outside the top 60. Yet Wickmayer was as high as 12th in 2009, the year she reached the US Open semi-finals, and is a strapping athlete with strong groundstrokes and a better result at Wimbledon than Stosur has managed to date.

So grass continues to confound the 30-year-old, who finishes the short season with a 1-3 record. The US hardcourts will be next - and Stosur will be pleased to see them.

Stosur did not feel she played badly against the impressive, aggressive Wickmayer, but dropped serve in the opening game, and could not take her chances early in the second set.

"Yeah, pretty annoyed about it, to be honest,'' she said later. "Yeah, I don't have an answer 'cause I do feel I played well; I think she played well and she stuck to it right from first point to last point. She did well to carry that through, and nearly without a blip.

"That's that. I still think I'm a good enough player to get through first rounds here, and for whatever reasons it's not happening.

"It wasn't a very good start for sure. But I actually didn't feel like, apart from trying to play that little catch-‘up with the break behind, I felt like I was playing quite well… There's only so much you can really be down on yourself about apart from losing.''

After doubles with Flavia Pennetta and mixed with Nenad Zimonjic, Stosur will take a three-week break before the US hardcourt season. There is no urgency to fill the vacant coach's chair, she says, but time IS needed to consider what she admits are limited options.

"For sure (I'll) start thinking about it a little bit. I mean, by no means a rush to just pick someone. I want to really take my time and think about it and make sure I'm doing the right thing.

"I think I still know what I want out of them. I don't think that's changing too much. But I think it's a hard thing. You know, there's probably a handful of coaches that you might want to think about. They've probably all got jobs. It's one of those things. It's not an easy thing to find that right (person) that you think is going to be that perfect match.''

8 comments so far

  • I just think Samantha Stosur doesn't have the personality to play top class tennis. Skills by all means and her one Grand Slam title shows this but elite athletes require something more and sadly Samantha just does not have this in the quantity necessary to make the grade.

    Commenter
    RTP
    Location
    Sawtell
    Date and time
    June 24, 2014, 8:40AM
    • Personality? I thought it was all about skill.

      Commenter
      Catherine
      Date and time
      June 24, 2014, 12:01PM
  • One of the dullest Australian 'sports stars' in history. Monumentally onee-dimensional. Makes you want to introduce her to books.

    Commenter
    lacebug
    Location
    annandale
    Date and time
    June 24, 2014, 9:02AM
    • well said- its time for her to retire as she will never make it.

      Commenter
      peter@epping
      Date and time
      June 24, 2014, 9:36AM
  • SO...Whats new ??????.

    Commenter
    Mike
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    June 24, 2014, 10:19AM
    • Didn't expect much so not disappointed. Now we can stop talking about her.

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 24, 2014, 10:49AM
      • Can't understand why no-one tells SS that hitting the ball most of the time directly back to the opponent is inviting trouble. She seems to have all type of hits in her hand, but refuses to use them.

        Commenter
        charles794
        Location
        healesville
        Date and time
        June 24, 2014, 11:06AM
        • She is rubbish but at least is very rich rubbish thanks to the farce that allows women and men to be paid the same prize-money at Grand Slams. Imagine how much she would be worth if she could actually win a few games!

          Commenter
          Shano
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          June 24, 2014, 6:57PM

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