Melbourne - Sam Stosur finally got a win at the
Australian Open on Monday to ease some of the building pressure after
first-round flops in Brisbane and Sydney this year.
The ninth seed
and top local hope of tennis-mad Australian fans advanced, but not
before a battle with Taiwan's Chang Kai-chen, finally prevailing 7-6
(7/3), 6-3 in 1hr 42min.
It was relief for the 28-year-old after
her miserable start to the year and broke a run of five consecutive
losses on home soil, including a first round exit at the Australian Open
Asked if it was the most pressure she had faced in the
first round of a Grand Slam tournament, she replied: "I don't know, I
wasn't thinking of it like that before I went out there.
course, I mean, I desperately wanted to win out there today, but didn't
necessarily feel it any more than, you know, my first rounds in Grand
"From here hopefully I can loosen up a little bit and keep playing better and better."
2011 US Open champion's confidence rose after pocketing the first set
as she served out the match against the Taiwanese, ranked 86 in the
"I think having gone through I'm really pleased that I didn't let that lead go and find myself back at even terms," she said.
"So it was good to get out of that set and then really kick it on from there."
has never gone beyond the fourth round at Melbourne in 10 attempts,
sparking criticism that she can't take the home pressure.
get asked what their opinion is and they say it and it comes out there. I
mean, it's fine. You know, everyone is entitled to think what they
think," she said.
"But of course I have got a group of people around me I trust all year round not just during the summer of the Australian Open.
some people had valid points, but at the end of the day, I'm always
going to go back to who I know and who I trust the most."
She next faces China's Zheng Jie.