The 2020 circumstances meant that the vast majority of professional tennis players were taking a major break from playing it wasn’t planned, it wasn’t strictly foreseen, and it had different consequences
For the Australian veteran Samantha Stosur, who for the 19th Time playing at the Australian Open, the break between the events was a kind of “refreshment” after years of grinding on the tour
â € žThatâ € ™ s sure the way I tried it, yes, I kind of thought, OK, well, that’s it, â ???? said 36-year-old Stosur after breaking her hoodoo on the first round in Melbourne Park
Stosur is one of 12 Australians through to the second round – most for more than 25 years – but it was the Queenslander’s name in Tuesday’s winners column that had special meaning
Melbourne was hardly the happiest hunting ground for the 2011 US Open champion, her victory against the young compatriot Destanee Aiava gave Stosur a slightly positive record (19-18) in the 20-year-old Australian Open singles
Stosur hadn’t won a game in the first round since 2015 When asked, yes, Stosur was aware of the record, but only because tennis writers, as they may be inclined, referred to it
“I didn’t know, but then I read something about it from one of you, so I knew,” Stosur said with a smile
“It wasn’t like,” Oh my god, it’s been that long or something is going into the match “
“It’s just a nice feeling to get another win on the board”Yes, to get into the second round”
The crowds at Melbourne Park are significantly lower than in previous years for a variety of reasons. Stosur certainly noticed the difference after beating Aiava in one of Melbourne Park’s three covered stadiums
â ???? Oh, it definitely felt very different out there, especially in a big stadium like the John Cain Arena I don’t even know what it was, barely full? She said
???? In a big stadium it feels different when it is like that.
When the pandemic broke out last year, Stosur stopped playing and took a longer hiatus when her partner Liz gave birth to their daughter Genevieve
“Didn’t hit a ball for two and a half months when my daughter was born and then started hitting a bit of September,” explained Stosur
â ???? The last few months have been full, you know, normal pre-season training so it’s a steady, slow development after many, many weeks of rest that I haven’t had in a long time
â ???? It was certainly a completely different year for me, but also an exciting one.
Like many players who have returned to their tour engagements in Australia, there was an element of adapting to the grind in the early days of 2021
Stosur noticed a real challenge in playful conditions against others who had match experience at the US Open and French Open
???? In competitive tennis, it’s not easy to step on the court and sometimes play the first few games That’s how I saw it last week when I blew out the cobwebs and did that She said
â ???? There were certainly a few times in the preseason when you started to play points again after so long. It was tough against all the girls who just played French and US Open and stuff
“Losing sentence after sentence didn’t always feel good, but I knew that” OK, I still have a month to play before it really counts ????
“And that is kind of steady progress that I was able to give to myself, I guess, knowing that you have so much time not to burn yourself out and kinda”go too hard too soon”
World news – AU – Adaptation to the grind: Stosur is one of 12 Australians in the second round