Samantha Stosur has just come back from ankle surgery. Image courtesy of Getty Images
Samantha Stosur will be hoping it’s third time lucky when she steps on to Pat Rafter Arena for her first match at the Brisbane International on Monday night. The past two years Stosur has made it through the first round, only to be bundled out in the round of 16 against players she should comfortably have beaten; fellow Aussie Jarmila Gadjosova in 2011 and Czech Iveta Benesova in 2012, with both losses coming in straight sets .
She takes on 41st-ranked Swede Sofia Arvidsson , a player she has beaten in their last three encounters, and two of those victories were on hardcourt in straight sets . To throw a spanner in the works, though, the Gold Coast girl is coming off ankle surgery just five weeks ago, which has limited her preparation for the start of the WTA Tour season.
Arvidsson won in Memphis earlier in 2012, but perhaps her most impressive run was in Moscow in October when she easily accounted for top 20 players Marion Bartoli and Maria Kirilenko, before pushing Danish starlet Caroline Wozniacki to the brink in a three-set semi-final. Her only previous appearance in Brisbane was in 2009 when she lost in the first round.
Stosur’s best late season run also came in Moscow; she beat Ana Ivanovic in a semi which went the distance before Wozniacki claimed the title with a 6-2 4-6 7-5 win in the final.
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