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spiceboy
Oct 26th, 2005, 05:30 PM
http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis/stosur-sought-by-home-country/2005/10/25/1130239522864.html

Stosur sought by home, country

By LINDA PEARCE
October 26, 2005

DESPITE a season that started so brightly, yet ultimately failed to ignite, Samantha Stosur is finding herself in sudden demand. Alicia Molik's illness has left Australia without a Hopman Cup anchor and, consequently, Stosur is being courted in two states.
The Australian No. 2 has been invited to partner Wayne Arthurs at the teams event in Perth in the first week of January. But the Hopman Cup clashes with Stosur's home-town tournament on the Gold Coast, where she has competed for the past four years and has valuable rankings points to defend from her run to the 2005 final.

Hopman Cup tournament director Paul McNamee confirmed yesterday that Stosur was his priority as Molik's replacement and she is expected to lean to the Perth tournament.

But Gold Coast tournament director Liz Smylie also wants Stosur in her field, as an important local drawcard to complement headline international act Maria Sharapova.

"Obviously, I'd love to have Sam come and play the Mondial Australian women's hardcourts," Smylie said yesterday. "It's her home event, and she's done very well here in the past; she's beaten a lot of good players."

"Obviously, we're inviting Sam as next in line, so I've made initial contact but I haven't got any news at all," McNamee said. "Sam's the standout second option, and she clearly fulfils all the criteria, being quite young and doing really well and also being very good in doubles, where she won the US Open and is up to No. 4 now."

Asked whether he expected a tug of war to develop with the Gold Coast tournament, McNamee said: "I don't think it will because I think that's a decision she's (Stosur's) got to make. I understand that delicacy, but I'm sure she'd love to play the Gold Coast and love to play the Hopman Cup as well, so it's a matter for her how she handles that."

Stosur made her senior WTA Tour debut on the Gold Coast in 2002, reached her first career semi-final there two years later and last January defeated three of the top-eight seeds to reach a final she lost to Swiss Patty Schnyder.

Sosur backed up with a Sydney finals appearance the next week, her Australian form the standout in an otherwise disappointing singles year. Now being coached by former doubles star Gigi Fernandez, Stosur is eight places below her career peak of 44th despite having aimed for a top-30 position by season's end.

And yet the 21-year-old is suddenly much sought-after, with Australia's depth crisis exaggerated by Molik's decision to take an extended sabbatical from the game to cure the inner-ear virus vestibular neuronitis.

Next on the rankings sheet is Nicole Pratt (134), with Evie Dominikovic one spot behind.

There already has been one big alteration to the original Hopman Cup field. Sweden, to be represented by former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson and Sofia Arvidsson, has replaced the Belarusian team of Max Mirnyi and Viktoria Azarenka.

At Kooyong, tournament director Colin Stubs is close to confirming in-form Croat Ivan Ljubicic as the seventh player in his eight-man AAMI Classic field. The remaining place is being held for Andre Agassi, from whom a decision is expected by the end of the week.

And Andy Roddick may be planning a controversial addition to his coaching staff, according to reports from the US. The volatile Jim Pierce, now reconciled with his resurgent daughter, Mary, is apparently being considered to supplement Roddick's coach Dean Goldfine, who replaced Brad Gilbert last December.

spiceboy
Oct 26th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Now being coached by former doubles star Gigi Fernandez, Stosur is eight places below her career peak of 44th

Didn't know that...great news!!!

Rising Sun
Oct 26th, 2005, 05:37 PM
I knew it'd come to this. :o

Should be interesting to see what she decides. :)

Farina Elia Fan
Oct 26th, 2005, 06:04 PM
i would chose gold coast, if i was her

CoryAnnAvants#1
Oct 26th, 2005, 07:01 PM
i would chose gold coast, if i was her

Ditto. Her ranking will drop from roughly #50 to #70 if she decides to skip Gold Coast. If she feels taking a nice paycheck for a weeklong exhibition is more worthwhile, then she can do that...I think it would be madness though.

A 1st round loss at Gold Coast (or now showing up) and Sydney and her ranking will fall out of the top 100.

Give the spot to Pratty. She loves representing Australia, will thrive in the atmosphere, and has nothing to defend that month anyway.

Vut
Oct 26th, 2005, 07:06 PM
gold coast is a good choice!

Ellery
Oct 26th, 2005, 07:08 PM
I think Samantha should pratt Gold Coast ;)

Hopefully Nicole can play Hopman Cup

charmedRic
Oct 26th, 2005, 07:46 PM
Now being coached by former doubles star Gigi Fernandez, Stosur is eight places below her career peak of 44th

Didn't know that...great news!!!

...that's very cool, I didn't know Gigi was coaching.

Best of Luck to Miss Stosur!

jonny84
Oct 26th, 2005, 07:55 PM
It depends it is either play for your country or play in front of your home town.

Gold Coast is probably the best choice, as she can try and defend her runner up points from 05; or she can get (gurantee herself) more match practice by playing Hopman Cup.

petey_pan
Oct 27th, 2005, 06:32 AM
Eeeeek.... please play Gold Coast Sam so many points to defend..... but I guess Hopman Cup has really ignited lots of players years aswell so i guess both would be a smart option.... and wow Gigi Fernandez thats pretty big! Was she a good singles player aswell???

DutchieGirl
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:09 AM
I think Samantha should pratt Gold Coast ;)

Hopefully Nicole can play Hopman Cup

yeah Sam should play GC, but please no Pratt at HC or else i'll have to cheer for Germany when I go to that tie! :haha:

DutchieGirl
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:10 AM
It depends it is either play for your country or play in front of your home town.

Gold Coast is probably the best choice, as she can try and defend her runner up points from 05; or she can get (gurantee herself) more match practice by playing Hopman Cup.

well yeah but I mean HC is only an exo tourney...

CooCooCachoo
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:12 AM
Please don't play the Hopman Cup :)

Munchen
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:15 AM
Now being coached by former doubles star Gigi Fernandez, Stosur is eight places below her career peak of 44th

Didn't know that...great news!!!

:eek: :eek:

This is great news.

goodluck Sam :bounce:

Prizeidiot
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:17 AM
Sam should be selfish... she can't afford to lose points at the start of the year considering the fact that the rest of her season hasn't been so flash.

Pratty? Please. She wouldn't play Fed Cup world group matches because she thought Alicia was being paid more than her in past matches. Give a junior a go.

KimC&MariaSNo1's
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:20 AM
if its not stosur i hope its Ferguson definitely not Pratt i hate her.

DutchieGirl
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:25 AM
if its not stosur i hope its Ferguson definitely not Pratt i hate her.

yup...I wouldn't mind fergo, or Evie... just not pratt please!

gillibean
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:28 AM
if its not stosur i hope its Ferguson definitely not Pratt i hate her.

Yay and inkimisafan!
I think Hopman Cup would give Soph great match practice but if not, she will probably play Gold Coast. Bet you Evie gets it though.

Mateo Mathieu
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:33 AM
I rather see Casey Dellacqua in Hopman Cup and Samantha Stosur in the Gold Coast :)

LostGlory
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:36 AM
Well Hopman Cup will give her a taste of greatness competing with the best....I'd say she should explore her options and do something different she might excel and find new heights in her career.....

Mana
Oct 27th, 2005, 07:51 AM
I rather see Casey Dellacqua in Hopman Cup and Samantha Stosur in the Gold Coast :)

:worship: :wavey:

DutchieGirl
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:04 AM
Well Hopman Cup will give her a taste of greatness competing with the best....I'd say she should explore her options and do something different she might excel and find new heights in her career.....

hmm except that then she'd immediately drop like 20 ranking spots coz she has final points from GC this year to defend... :p

KimC&MariaSNo1's
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:31 AM
i doubt stosur would have defended those points with sharapova going to gold coast.

Scotso
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:31 AM
Gold coast is the only logical choice.

DutchieGirl
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:35 AM
i doubt stosur would have defended those points with sharapova going to gold coast.

umm maybe she wouldn't make the final, but she can defend at least some of them if she goes to GC, if she plays HC then she gets nothing...

azza
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:41 AM
Nuh Not Sam hope its Evie

Scotso
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:42 AM
i doubt stosur would have defended those points with sharapova going to gold coast.
Yes! We all know Sharapova wins every tournament she enters!

petey_pan
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:43 AM
umm maybe she wouldn't make the final, but she can defend at least some of them if she goes to GC, if she plays HC then she gets nothing...

Exactly

switz
Oct 27th, 2005, 11:11 AM
i can understand the logic in playing the Gold Coast but i think it would be much better for her to play the Hopman Cup. Sam doesn't get enough matches against the big names and playing in Australia she would really get the chance to some big wins under her belt.

obviously the finals points and it being her home tournament are hard things to go by but i think Stosur's at the crossroads at the moment where she needs to show whether she's going to be the future of Australian tennis or the next Rennae Stubbs (not that's there anything wrong with that). the Hopman Cup is a prestigious event and i would advise her to play.

i suspect she'll play the Gold Coast though.

Definitely Ferguson should go in after that.

switz
Oct 27th, 2005, 11:13 AM
although Arthurs would be her partner so maybe not. they'd be good in doubles.

KimC&MariaSNo1's
Oct 27th, 2005, 12:35 PM
i reckon they would win all 3 doubles matches but lost all 6 singles but still she should have ago you never know.

Lemonskin.
Oct 27th, 2005, 01:11 PM
Sammy for GC, Sophie F for HC thats what I reckon

gillibean
Oct 27th, 2005, 02:07 PM
Yay Soph Ferguson!!!

crazillo
Oct 27th, 2005, 02:25 PM
I think Sam will play GC, but I would prefer Evie for the HC.

Fantastic
Oct 27th, 2005, 04:06 PM
I think it's too easy to just say that Sam should play Gold Coast. While it's true that she has a lot of points to defend and that she's the hometown favourite, the Hopman Cup will guarantee her more matches, better competition (especially against the men in mixed doubles), excellent crowd support (Perth-ites support ALL Aussies, even Pratt :p ) and a more lucrative pay check. All of that should make up for losing her ranking. The six matches that Sam will have in Perth will give her the perfect preparation for the Australian Open, which is where she can make up the points she will lose at the Gold Coast tournament. It doesn't matter whether Sam is ranked 50 or 70 by the time of the Australian Open because she's already in, and chances are she will do much better than last year. If she's desperate to make up the extra points, then she could probably easily get a direct acceptance into Tokyo. Either way, she can recollect her points in other tournaments.

Fantastic
Oct 27th, 2005, 04:16 PM
If Sam declines the invitation to play the HC, then I'd like to see Pratt or Ferguson take up the challenge. Pratt always plays well for Australia. She may not win any matches, but no matter who replaces Alicia, they're all going to struggle for wins. Ferguson needs to be tested under these sorts of conditions. Her matches against Maleeva and Petrova last year was a good learning curve, but if she's going to be the real deal, now is the time to make that next move up. Dominikovic is too lightweight. She can raise her level but she will never beat the big guns. She just doesn't have the belief. While Pratt may be a little bit deluded about the reaches of her abilities, at least she comes across as confident of taking on the top players. Dellacqua just isn't up to scratch. She'd be good for a laugh... if you enjoy seeing an elephant plodding across a tennis court. Lol. She would be slaughtered.

DutchieGirl
Oct 27th, 2005, 04:19 PM
If Sam declines the invitation to play the HC, then I'd like to see Pratt or Ferguson take up the challenge. Pratt always plays well for Australia. She may not win any matches, but no matter who replaces Alicia, they're all going to struggle for wins. Ferguson needs to be tested under these sorts of conditions. Her matches against Maleeva and Petrova last year was a good learning curve, but if she's going to be the real deal, now is the time to make that next move up. Dominikovic is too lightweight. She can raise her level but she will never beat the big guns. She just doesn't have the belief. While Pratt may be a little bit deluded about the reaches of her abilities, at least she comes across as confident of taking on the top players. Dellacqua just isn't up to scratch. She'd be good for a laugh... if you seeing elephants plodding across a tennis court... but not much else. She would be slaughtered.

hmm bring on Dell'Acqua then... :devil: Australia are in NL's group (if they qualify). ;)

gillibean
Oct 28th, 2005, 12:34 AM
If Sam declines the invitation to play the HC, then I'd like to see Pratt or Ferguson take up the challenge. Pratt always plays well for Australia. She may not win any matches, but no matter who replaces Alicia, they're all going to struggle for wins. Ferguson needs to be tested under these sorts of conditions. Her matches against Maleeva and Petrova last year was a good learning curve, but if she's going to be the real deal, now is the time to make that next move up. Dominikovic is too lightweight. She can raise her level but she will never beat the big guns. She just doesn't have the belief. While Pratt may be a little bit deluded about the reaches of her abilities, at least she comes across as confident of taking on the top players. Dellacqua just isn't up to scratch. She'd be good for a laugh... if you enjoy seeing an elephant plodding across a tennis court. Lol. She would be slaughtered.

Wooohoooo love the elephant comment. Hope they invite Soph not Pratt...