Stosur returns to the scene of 'greatest match'

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Eight years after claiming her first singles title on clay in the southern American city, Stosur reflected on what makes Charleston such a fun place to kick off preparations for the French Open.

“I think the match i played against Zvonereva in the final was probably the best match I’ve ever played,” Stosur said of her 6-0, 6-3 win over Vera Zvonareva in that match. “A lot of people think I’m crazy for saying that considering I’ve won the us open, but I played fantastic that day.

“Everything i hit was just perfect and that was the biggest title I’d won. It was just an awesome week.

“I remember that last day pretty clearly actually so it was great fun and seriously if not the best, then top two best matches I’ve ever played.”

Almost a decade on, the 34 year-old world number 57 has added seven more singles titles to her career haul, but she says the excitement she feels at hitting the clay is as palpable now as it was at the beginning of her career.

“I always have a great time here whether I’ve won the final or I’ve lost early,” Stosur said. “I’ve always enjoyed the time in Charleston so I think when I know I’m coming up here it always gives you a bit of extra excitement and spring in your step.

“I love playing on clay so i get really excited for these next couple of months and this is where it can kind of start.

Reflecting on a tough start to the season, where she has lost twice to Monica Puig, Stosur forecasts an upturn in fortunes as the tour swings into the clay court leg.

“I feel like i’m starting to play better and better. Last week I played Monica first round and lost there but I felt like I actually played a pretty good match,” she said. “then she beat Woz (Caroline Wozniacki) in the next round and she played really well so its nothing that I'm too concerned about."

“I feel like my level’s definitely right there and I’m practicing really well so obviously you’ve got to do it in matches and get over the line a couple of times but i feel like once i do that then everything will kind of keep flowing and getting easier.

“I feel like I’m knocking on the door to getting on a bit of a roll.

Looking further afield, Stosur is hoping for a repeat of that breakthrough season in 2010, where she went on to win in Stuttgart, before making the French Open final. 

“The immediate goal would be the french open,” Stosur said. “Obviously this is all leading up to our grand slam on clay and somewhere that I’ve done pretty well and somewhere that I enjoy. So these next couple of weeks on clay are going to be a really good test and benchmark as to where you are at and hopefully keep building to play as best as you can at that tournament.