Samantha Stosur was all smiles after ending her Brisbane hoodoo to beat former world number one Angelique Kerber. (AAP: Albert Perez)
Samantha Stosur has lifted her Brisbane curse in fine fashion, toppling former world number one Angelique Kerber to reach the second round of her home event for just the second time in seven years.
- Samantha Stosur rallied back from 5-1 down in the first tie break to secure the first set, before holding on for the win
- Victory over Angelique Kerber means Stosur secured just her second win in Brisbane in seven years
- She will play either Madison Keys or Marie Bouzkova in the second round
The 35-year-old withstood the German’s best efforts in a 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4) win built on smart serving and variety from the baseline, rallying from 5-1 down in the first set tie-break for a win she described as her best in Brisbane.
Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion, has traditionally struggled on the Australian leg of the world tour but the veteran will move towards the year’s first grand slam knowing she is still capable.
“I’m very, very happy with that win … probably my first top-20 win in a little while,” the world number 99 said.
With Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty assuming the mantle of top dog, Stosur has been afforded a lower profile than previous years.
But she said the stress-free tennis played on Monday night — Stosur admitted she played like she “forgot she was down 5-1” in the tie break — was what she had always been aiming for.
Samantha Stosur came from 5-1 down in the first tie-break before powering through in straight sets. (AAP: Albert Perez)
“It’s probably my best win here,” she said of the defeat of the world number 20 and three-time grand slam champion.
“It’s sort of the way I want to be all the time on the court [but] I put more pressure on myself than anyone would ever do.
“Sometimes I want it a little too bad and that’s when you get hamstrung, but today I felt like I stayed relaxed and composed and did those things I want to do all the time.”
Stosur, who is on the same side of the draw as Barty, will play the winner of the match between American eighth seed Madison Keys and Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova in the second round.
Fellow Australians Ajla Tomljanovic and Priscilla Hon went toe to toe later on Monday, Tomljanovic prevailing 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
Earlier Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova upset British seventh seed Johanna Konta 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to move into the second round, while fourth seed Elina Svitolina was thumped 6-1, 6-1 by American Danielle Collins.
Strycova will face American Alison Riske who defeated Czech Karolina Muchova 6-4, 6-2, while Sofia Kenin beat Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 (7/1), 6-4.