Sam Stosur keen for big Australian summer of tennis
October 10, 201212:00AM
HER schedule is the same, her preparation unchanged and she plans to be as fit as always, but Sam Stosur is determined this Australian summer will be different.
A year ago, Stosur returned home amid a frenzy of expectation as US Open champion and admits: "I froze."
After a more subdued year where she will finish in the top 10 for a third straight time but miss the season-ending Championships except as a reserve, Stosur will resist the temptation to seek a magic remedy.
"I've got the team around me and the people that I work with in all different aspects," Stosur told The Courier-Mail.
"I'm going to keep all that the same.
"Even though it didn't work out for January, I've had an up and down year, but overall I think I'm still doing what I need to so I'm not going to look for one person to dramatically change anything.
"I really trust the people I've got around me and I'm going to stick to that and hopefully we can put it all together."
The 28-year-old Queenslander begins the quest for Australian Open redemption with her usual pre-season training block in Sydney.
Her first tournament will be the Brisbane International, where she bombed out in the second round last January, followed by Sydney, where she failed to win a set before her shocking first-round capitulation in Melbourne.
"I did everything the way that I thought was correct and tried to tick every box and practise as much as I needed to and do all my fitness work and do all the psychological stuff and it just didn't happen," Stosur said.
"I froze and that was it. I was pretty disappointed that I felt like I'd done all those things going in and I didn't get any reward for doing it.
"I can't obviously control whatever is going to happen but if I go along those same lines, I'll certainly be in a good position. If I can even learn one thing and that adds 1 per cent to my performance, then I think that can make a difference."
Stosur has no illusions about flying under the radar, however.
"Being the home person, there's always a little bit of extra attention," she said.
While a possible rematch with reigning US Open champion Serena Williams is not the talking point it was this time last year immediately after their eventful 2011 final, it remains a tantalising prospect.
The American has already committed to the Brisbane International, which starts on December 30. So too has world No.2 Maria Sharapova.
Regardless of whether Stosur secures a showdown with one of those leading ladies, she simply wants to avoid a repeat summer.
"Looking back, it certainly wasn't an enjoyable time, that's for sure," Stosur said.