Sam Stosur extended her singles career for at least one more match, coming from a set down to defeat American wildcard Robin Anderson 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in just over two and a half hours on KIA Arena.
The win books Stosur a place in the second round of her home grand slam for the first time since 2015.
The former world No. 4 has found it tough going at her home grand slam but played with freedom knowing this was her final chance to play in front of her fans.
“It's kind of like this is your last chance, if you don't do it now, you're never going to have another opportunity to do it. Kind of like backs against the wall, this is it” Stosur said In her post match press conference.
Post-match Stosur expressed her delight at having the support of a vocal home crowd who cheered her all the way home.
“Yeah, crowd was amazing. It was a really nice court to play on. It was great atmosphere. Obviously, the crowd was right behind me, which was really nice and special to have.”
Anderson raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set only for Stosur to claw her way back to the level the match at 4-4. Unforced errors proved costly for Stosur in the tiebreaker with Anderson capitalising and taking out the first set.
Stosur was able to put the disappointment of the first set behind her to race ahead to a 3-0 in the second set. Stosur’s powerful groundstrokes were on full display as she showed glimpses of the hitting that won her a grand slam title. The second set wasn’t without some nervous moments with Stosur taking until her 5th set point to close out the set.
The deciding set was much like the second set with Stosur managing to gain an early break of serve and then another break of serve in the 9th game of the set to book her place in the second round.
“It was obviously a long match. It was a tough match. Right from the first couple of games thought, No, I can do this today. Hung in there and, yeah, obviously very happy to get the win.
Stosur will now meet No. 10 seed Anastasia Pavluchenkova in the second round on Thursday and is looking forward to the contest.
”We've played many times. It's gone both ways. We've had some really close matches, played some good tennis against each other. Played doubles together. We know each other pretty well,” Stosur said.