Samantha Stosur lost 6-2 6-4 in the first round of the Apia International Sydney to Francesca Schiavone, which is her second straight early loss at a tournament on her home soil this year, ahead of the Australian Open, and the big expectations and her own desire to do well at the Grand Slam in her country, following her US Open title win, seem to be catching up with big-hitting Stosur.
When she won her maiden major title in September 2011 by beating Serena Williams in the final, Stosur couldn't wait to start the same quest in Australia, but now that the moment has come, she lost her second match in Brisbane and her opening match in Sydney. The 27-year-old is admitting to be falling under the pressure:
That's what makes the loss so difficult, Melbourne is coming up and I want to start playing well. I think today I certainly didn't handle that (expectation) side of things at all well.
I went into it with the right frame of mind, and got out there and it (the crowd support) kind of hit me. It did kind of surprise me how much it kind of hamstrung me today.
Stosur played the Australian Open main draw nine times and has never been past the fourth round. Do you think she will overcome the pressure and improve her Australian Open result armed with a Grand Slam triumph experience? (photo: Stephane Martinache)