Date: May 27 2012
SAMANTHA STOSUR launches her French Open campaign tomorrow vowing to stay cool and to enjoy the Parisian experience.
Australia's great hope believes staying relaxed and taking in the simple delights of one of the world's most beautiful cities could be key to going one step further than her runner-up showing in 2010.
Stosur's laid-back approach explains why the US Open champion had two days off last week after being bundled out in Rome to savour life in the Italian capital and why she took another break on Friday to hit and mingle with sponsors at a rich Paris country club.
Getting out and about, rather than being confined to the Roland Garros practice courts, is all part of Stosur's grand slam grand plan.
''I don't like sitting in the apartment for too long. I get pretty bored. I like to see things,'' Stosur said ahead of her first-round clash with Britain's Elena Baltacha.
''I don't go to all the tourist traps but you kind of just wander around.
''I hired one of the bikes the other night and rode to dinner and rode home and went to the shops and bought my espresso pods for the coffee machine. All that kind of thing.''
Queensland's easy rider is more fearful of Paris's ''big roundabouts and cars everywhere'' than any opponent she may run into over the coming fortnight.
So much so that she didn't even bother looking at the draw after it was issued on Friday.
''I've been out all day. I know who I play, but that's it,'' Stosur said.
The world No.6 does have her routines, staying at the same place each year and working on certain aspects of her game in the lead-up to the clay-court major.
But Stosur learnt during her New York odyssey last September not to obsess over a military-style build-up.
''You can plan and do everything, but quite often things don't work out the way you want,'' she said. ''The US Open happened and nearly everything went the way I definitely would not have wanted it to go and you end up winning the tournament.
''It doesn't always matter what the preparation is. It's what happens on that day … there's no guarantees.''
Despite her nonchalance, Stosur's passion to have her name etched on la Coupe Suzanne Lenglen remains undiminished.
The 28-year-old feels inspired every time she steps onto centre court.
''You hit on centre court and you see the flags of the four finalists from the year before and last year the Aussie one was up there and this year it's not,'' Stosur said.
''So of course next time I go out there next year hopefully the Aussie one can be back up there in the winner's position.'' AAP
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