Stosur Set For Showdown With Serb Star

Samantha Stosur has a solid record on hardcourt against Ana Ivanovic.

Sam Stosur heads in to Friday night’s third round clash with Ana Ivanovic boasting a promising record against the Serb on hardcourt. The overall head-to-head favours Stosur 4-3, but on hardcourt the Gold Coaster has won four of five encounters. Prior to Ivanovic’s three-set victory at the Tournament of Champions in Sofia late last year, Stosur had won their previous four hardcourt battles, including a 6-3,7-5 upset in the second round at Melbourne Park in 2006 when the world number 14 was a red-hot favourite.

While Stour’s form has been shaky, Ivanonic is unbeaten in 2014. She started the year winning all five matches in New Zealand taking out the ASB Auckland Classic. She dropped just one set across the ditch and that was to Venus Williams in a tight three-set final. Since then, the 26-year-old has enjoyed comfortable wins over Kiki Bertens and Annika Beck in Melbourne.

Stosur’s season began with singles losses representing Australia at the Hopman Cup in Perth. After that performance, critics were ‘Slammin Sam’, but the 29-year-old headed to Tassie for a ‘soft kill’ in the Hobart International. That came unstuck when she was upstaged by Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals. But our leading singles player extracted revenge a week later downing the Czech in the first round of the season’s opening Grand Slam. A free-wheeling Stosur then dropped just two games against a wounded Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round. With Australia’s singles hopes dwindling, the 17th seed will again be under immense pressure to win her home Slam and repeat her US Open heroics of 2011. She has struggled under pressure in her home country plenty of times before, but Ivanovic who has a game which can fall apart when it gets tight, especially her unreliable serve.

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