Stosur has best serve - Davenport
Tuesday, 24 June, 2003
LONDON, June 23 AAP - Fifth seed Lindsay Davenport today rated Australian Samantha Stosur as one of the best servers on the women's tour after beating the wild card in their first round match at Wimbledon. Davenport, the world number five, won in straight sets 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 but was pushed hard by the 19-year-old, who made it to the third round of the Australian Open in January.
Stosur, ranked 141st, frustrated Davenport's attempts to find a rhythm on the grass and the American admitted it was not the kind of match she had hoped for in the first round. "She served exceptional," Davenport said.
"It's tough on grass when you're trying to build some momentum. In women's tennis we don't have that many big servers, like they do in men's tennis.
"I would rather have had a better match, hitting more ground strokes, instead of the one-two rallies we were having."
The Gold Coast teenager was full of confidence despite the loss and said she knew what she had to work on to achieve her goal of making the world top 100 this year.
"She showed me what my weaknesses were out there," Stosur said. "I need to improve my forehand a bit, especially on the run, and try to serve a high percentage -- and well -- the whole match. My serve just dropped off a bit and those good players show that up."
Her performance was the one bright spot in a bleak day for Australian tennis, on which Evie Dominikovic and Nicole Pratt joined defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in crashing out in the first round. "It's not really our day today. Today's been a real shocker," Dominikovic, ranked 120th admitted after her 6-0 6-2 caning at the hands of 16th seed Vera Zvonareva. "It was probably one of my worst matches ever. I played terrible, really bad. It's one to forget, hopefully. Pretty much everything fell apart. It was just a disaster of a day. I thought I had a good shot against her but the nerves took over and my feet wouldn't move. It's not a very good feeling at all to lose that easily when you feel confident and pretty good playing."
Pratt is considering going back to the Challenger circuit after continuing her eight-match losing streak by throwing away a one set lead to lose 6-4 4-6 4-6 loss to Canadian veteran Maureen Drake, ranked 126th. Pratt, whose ranking has slipped to 75th after almost three months without a win, said stepping down a rank would help her regain her confidence. "There's nothing that I'm doing wrong in training, I'm working really hard, and physically I'm fine -- I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been," Pratt, 30, said. "It's just getting confidence by winning matches. I might have to play the smaller events just to get matches under my belt -- at least throw one or two challengers in to get the confidence back.
"I've never had a string of first round losses in a row before, so it's important to take a break and reassess."