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Stosur in a New York state of mind
Darren Walton
18:05 AEST Tue Jan 15 2013

Down on form but not out, Samantha Stosur is quietly plotting a US Open-like rearguard charge to the second week at Melbourne Park.

Stosur takes on Jie Zheng on Wednesday confident about reversing her loss last week in Sydney to China's world No.40 and keeping her Australian Open hopes alive.

The rusty ninth seed has played just three matches since November - for one lone win - but is drawing on the experience of a similarly lean run last year.

Stosur won only three matches in a two-month lull between Wimbledon and returning to New York to defend her US Open crown in August, but was able to build rediscover her A-game in the nick of time at Flushing Meadows.

The Queenslander rolled into the quarter-finals before falling in a third-set tiebreaker to world No.1 Victoria Azarenka and is hoping for another resurgence at Melbourne Park after a scratchy first-round win over Taiwan's world No.86 Kai-Chen Chang.

"Hopefully each match I can get a little bit better," said the world No.9.

"The next round is going to be very tough and I will hopefully play better again and from there we'll see.

"The more experiences you go through, the more you'll be poised to use all those experiences next time."

Despite being hounded about not coping with the home-hope pressures after suffering first-round losses in Brisbane and Sydney, Stosur is adamant the stress this summer is nothing on last year when she arrived in Melbourne as the sport's most recent grand slam champion.

"You win one grand slam and then people just say she'll do it again, it'll be in Australia," Stosur said.

"But it's not that easy. It's not that simple."

Taylor agreed but said it didn't take much for his charge to turn her summer around.

"Sam just needs to play to her ability and playing to her ability she's into the second week of the Australian Open," he said.

Success over Jie would put Stosur into a third-round clash on Friday against either German 18th seed Julia Goerges or Swiss youngster Romina Oprandi, with Chinese sixth seed Li Na looming large as a likely last-16 foe.

"I'm not thinking about Li Na at all at the moment," Stosur said.

"(Jie) is absolutely in the forefront of my mind."

Stosur is the solitary Australian in action on Wednesday.


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