Stosur eyes French Open after Fed Cup loss

Samantha Stosur is aiming to shrug off the disappointment of her role in Australia’s latest Fed Cup failure and get her year back on track ahead of her pet grand slam, the French Open.

Notorious for a tendency to wilt under the glare of an expectant home crowd, Stosur capitulated in both of her singles rubbers at Brisbane’s Pat Rafter Arena as Australia was whitewashed 4-0 in their World Group play-off tie against a depleted United States.

Stosur won the first set of both of her clashes against Christina McHale and Coco Vandeweghe but ultimately failed to produce the goods in the key moments.

It continues a woeful record at her hometown venue, which had a $100,000 temporary clay court laid down by Tennis Australia over the usual Plexicushion surface in an attempt to hand Stosur an advantage.

The 32-year-old was understandably downtrodden after the tie, but said she could take confidence from the fact that, for the most part, her game was in good shape.

“It can be a very frustrating thing, obviously, and very disappointing. But I guess it’s also a good thing – you’d rather play well and go down in a tough one than not put in a good performance, either,” Stosur said.

“It doesn’t necessarily make it any easier right now, but on the whole I’m playing good tennis. But you want to get those wins.”

Stosur’s attention has now shifted firmly to Roland-Garros.

She leaves on Wednesday for Prague, where she will play in the WTA event there next week, before moving onto the Madrid Open, Italian Open and then to the French Open, which begins on May 23.

“All my training and tournaments leading up is going to have to have that big picture kind of focus towards Roland-Garros, without putting it so high you freak yourself out,” she said.

“It’s definitely the grand slam where I feel like I can do very well, but you’ve got to play very good tennis and a few things have got to go your way.

“So much goes into trying to do well at a slam.

“I’ve got a few tournaments leading up to that, that’s the next main focus and then I’d love to do well at Wimbledon, Olympics is in there too – there’s so much tennis to be played in the second half of the year, it’s absolutely chockas and there’s heaps of big events.

“I think it’s really important to pace yourself throughout certain weeks when you can because there’s not going to be too much rest by the time Wimbledon starts.”

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