Samantha Stosur remains relaxed about her Wimbledon prospects despite her grasscourt troubles continuing with a straight-sets first-up loss at the Eastbourne International.
The Australian No.1 will head to the All England Club – where she has a dire record in a dozen visits – without a win on the surface in more than a year after succumbing 7-5 7-6 (7-0) to Bulgaria’s world No.44 Tsvetana Pironkova.
But the former US Open champion insists it’s far from doom and gloom, noting that Pironkova, the champion in Sydney last year, had been to a quarter-final and semi-final on London’s hallowed lawns.
“She’s a good player, especially on grass. You’d have to say grass is where she’s had her best results,” Stosur told AAP.
“So I actually played some pretty decent tennis out there. Overall I was actually quite pleased with the way I was hitting it.
“I was doing some things quite positively.”
Having only ventured beyond the second round just twice in 12 attempts, Stosur has opted for a less is more approach to Wimbledon this year.
Her short-lived appearance at Eastbourne was the 31-year-old’s only grasscourt lead-up event, the classy claycourter instead choosing to contest two tournaments on dirt in Europe after Wimbledon to maximise opportunities.
“At the end of the day, only a small percentage of players would say that grass is their favourite surface and I’m not one of those,” said Stosur, the world No.23.
“I decided I was going to play those and if I didn’t take these last two weeks off, it would have been 15 weeks straight playing. I don’t think that’s a smart schedule.
“So instead of taking the two weeks off after Wimbledon like I usually do, I’ve taken them before.
“Sometimes we can tend to do the same things year in, year out and I’ve done that for 10 years.
“So why not try something different? Clay’s a surface that I really enjoy playing on.”
While her pragmatic approach has eased the pressure she once placed on herself to perform at tennis’s most revered venue, Stosur still feels capable of making an impact at SW19.
“You’ve obviously got to put it together in that first round, but I’m still confident I can play well and get some wins,” she said.
“Who knows if that’s going to happen, but I’m at least confident that I can do that.”