Sam Stosur may not have grabbed a win in Australia’s Fed Cup semi-final loss to Germany but she is still full of confidence ahead of the French Open.
Even Sam Stosur could not recall the last time she lost both singles rubbers at a Fed Cup tie as the dust settled on Germany’s stunning semi-final win in Brisbane on Sunday.
Yet she is still confident of a French Open campaign to remember.
The former US Open champion capped back-to-back defeats at Pat Rafter Arena with a 4-6 6-0 6-4 loss to world No.7 Angelique Kerber on Sunday, handing Germany an unbeatable 3-0 lead over Australia.
Two-time champions Germany will contest their first Fed Cup final since 1992 against either Czech Republic or Italy in November.
But the high quality hardcourt matches against world class opposition has steeled Stosur – the 2010 French Open runner-up – before she leaves on Wednesday to launch her claycourt campaign.
“I am looking forward to it,” said Stosur, who lost 6-1 7-6 to former world No.9 Andrea Petkovic on Saturday.
“And if I can keep playing like this and keep improving I am hoping I will do well.”
The world No.19 has only made it past the third round at one tournament this year and again appeared to buckle under the weight of public expectation on her home court.
But she said the Brisbane experience had given her the boost she needed for the French Open countdown.
Asked when was the last time she had not won a singles rubber at a tie, Stosur said: “I don’t know. It is certainly not a situation I have been in often.
“(But) I was much more pleased with the way I played today.
“It does (create confidence).”
The former world No.4 was the heroine the last time the teams met, inspiring a 3-2 upset over Germany in Stuttgart in 2012, but her first career loss to Kerber ensured Australia’s long Fed Cup drought continued.
Australia won the last of their seven titles 40 years ago with Evonne Goolagong leading the way and have not featured in a final since 1993.
Stosur said she did not believe their semi-final defeat was an “opportunity lost”.
And she backed an Australian team also boasting three-time grand slam doubles finalists Ash Barty – just 17 – and Casey Dellacqua, plus emerging 19-year-old Storm Sanders.
“I believe (world No.53) Casey and I have a few more good years in us – there is no talk of stopping,” said Stosur, whose Fed Cup record is now 27-13 overall and 17-9 on hardcourt.
“And Ash and Storm … in the future it will be down to those two to carry the flag.”
Dellacqua and Barty got Australia on the board when they defeated Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 10-2 (match tiebreaker) in the dead doubles rubber.
The second reverse singles rubber between Dellacqua and Petkovic was not played.