Historically the grass-courts at Wimbledon have not been kind to Sam Stosur. Out of 13 singles appearances at the Wimbledon Championships, she has failed to progress beyond the third round and on 6 occasions she has been knocked out in the first round.
In her career, Stosur has claimed one singles major, two doubles majors and also held the number 1 doubles ranking back in 2006. Considering the level of success she has had on the doubles court, it’s unusual that of all the grand slams, Wimbledon has posed the most difficulties for her.
Stosur has a solid serve, powerful groundstrokes and is also quite adept at the net. She began her career as an all-courter who often employed the serve & volley tactic, which became a cornerstone of her doubles success. However in recent years she has utilised more of a baseline game with big top-spin groundstrokes and a kick serve that has worked well on the clay and hard-courts, but not so much on the grass.
Stosur’s western forehand grip and heavy topspin groundstrokes require a big back swing in order to get underneath the ball to generate topspin. The fast and slippery nature of the grass-courts gives her less time to wind-up on her big forehand than she would otherwise have on the slower surfaces. One of her other major weapons, the kick serve, is also not as effective on the grass.
Stosur brings some solid form into this year’s grass-court season having reached the semi-finals at the French Open. However she will need to adjust her game if she is to experience the same success at Wimbledon. She has recently teamed up with Andrew Roberts who is the head coach of the National Tennis Academy in Perth, in the hope of achieving better results on grass. The pair will no doubt be working on modifying her game to better suit the quicker grass courts. Don’t be surprised to see Stosur flatten out her groundstrokes, employ the slice more frequently and attack the net at this year’s Championships. If executed well, these small adjustments to her game could go a long way to helping her get results on her least-favourite surface.
Stosur will kick off her Wimbledon campaign next week at Eastbourne in The UK where she has made the semi-finals on 3 occasions. She is currently ranked 14 in the world and will almost certainly receive a seeding at Wimbledon inside the top 16. This will give her the best chance of progressing into the second week of the tournament.