Stosur ready for fourth Olympic campaign
Published 6 August 2016 (AEDT)
TENNIS: Australia’s No.1 ranked female tennis player, Samantha Stosur, kicks off her Rio Olympic campaign tomorrow and says she is just as excited for her fourth Olympics as she was for her first back in Athens in 2004.
“I am very excited to be here, Olympics number four is pretty cool,” said Stosur.
“I feel very lucky to have been able to be a part of so many and I am really looking forward to the competition and the whole Olympic atmosphere and experience.
“There is some criteria that we need to meet to be able to compete here at the Olympics, like playing Fed Cup and ensuring that our ranking is good enough, and I certainly make sure that I do that to ensure that I am available to play.
“I just love being a part of the bigger Australian team, you really feel a great sense of camaraderie.
“Obviously we love our sport in Australia and for us it is a big part of our culture and we are just a part of the little tennis team, but to be part of our bigger Australian team is really special and you don’t know how many opportunities you are going to get to be a part of it.”
Stosur will begin her campaign tomorrow in the women’s doubles with Daria Gavrilova against the Swiss combination of Martina Hingis and Timea Bacsinszky.
“Dasha and I played together for the first time last week in Montreal and we won a couple of matches so that was a good start,” said Stosur.
“We played one of the Czech teams that are going to be playing here in Rio so to play another form team and get the win was nice, but we know that we can and will need to improve.
“I have played Martina in doubles a few times but never played Timea, although we actually practiced together this week.
“We just need to go out there and bring everything that we have got and hopefully we can pick up from where we left off last week with the form we showed in Montreal.”
In singles Stosur is seeded 13th and will face rising Latvian player and world No.41 Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday.
Stosur has never faced Ostapenko before and is relying on her doubles teammate Gavrilova for some inside knowledge.
“I don’t know much about her, she is quite young and has probably only been on tour for about a year or so but I think she did very well in the juniors,” said Stosur.
“I actually think Dasha knows her a little bit so I might be speaking to Dasha to get my game plan going, but at the end of the day I am going to play my tennis and go out there and give it everything I have got.”
There will be nine Aussies in action on Day 1 at the Olympic Tennis Centre.
Joining Stosur and Gavrilova in the women’s doubles will be sisters Anastasia and Arina Rodionova, who face 7th seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesina from Russia.
Our men’s double team of Chris Guccione and John Peers face unseeded Argentine pairing of Juan Martin Del Potro and Maximo Gonzalez.
In men’s singles, world No.75 John Millman faces world No.71 Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania), Jordan Thompson plays unseeded Britain Kyle Edmund and Thanasi Kokkinakis, playing his first match in 10 months, faces world No.61 Gastao Elias from Portugal.