Stosur claims rare home win in Sydney
Australian veteran Samantha Stosur has defied her poor home record to claim a first-round victory at the Sydney International.
Stosur appeared on her way to losing another tournament-opener on home soil when she lost the first set to former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova on Monday night.
However, the 35-year-old, now ranked 74th in the world, wound back the clock by smashing 15 aces on her way to prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 on Ken Rosewall Arena.
The former US Open champion will now meet Timea Bacsinszky in the second round.
Stosur's rough run at Australian Open
- 2010: 4th round loss to Serena Williams
- 2011: 3rd round loss to Petra Kvitova
- 2012: 1st round loss to Sorana Kirstea
- 2013: 2nd round loss to Jie Zheng
- 2014: 3rd round loss to Ana Ivanovic
- 2015: 2nd round loss to Kiki Vandeweghe
- 2016: 1st round loss to Kristina Pliskova
- 2017: 1st round loss to Heather Watson
- 2018: 1st round loss to Monica Puig
"I thought I played really well, and as the match went on I got better and better," Stosur said.
"I thought I served great. I was really confident going into that last game because of all the momentum I felt like I had. Yeah, obviously really pleased."
The victory is a major confidence boost ahead of next week's Australian Open at Melbourne Park, where she has not won a match since 2015.
Stosur has been criticised in recent years for a disappointing on home soil, and again lost her first match in Brisbane last week to 139th-ranked Marie Bouzkova.
It was her fifth first-round exit in Brisbane in six years.
She also has failed to make the quarter-finals in the harbour city since 2014, but will be buoyed by a vintage performance against the 25th-ranked Cibulkova.
Stosur, who had also lost her past six matches against a top-50 opponent, is hopeful Monday's result changes the perception about her struggles on her home turf.
"I don't feel like it's been the issue all the time for me here. It's kind of something that happened a few times, and then it just gets repeated," Stosur said.
"I don't know. Maybe tonight's helped change that.
"It's funny because it's not like we are playing easy players, either.
"This is a really tough tournament, so you're playing someone who is top 30 in the world every single round.
"It's not a given that everyone wins everything."