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Stosur ready to beat local favourite Goerges

sports Updated: Apr 22, 2011 15:52 IST
AFP
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Australia's Samantha Stosur says she is ready to beat Germany's Julia Goerges -- and the passionate home crowd -- in Saturday's semi-final at Stuttgart's WTA tournament.

The 27-year-old beat second-seed Vera Zvonareva 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in Thursday's quarter-final to reach the last four and hopes to beat Goerges to reach her first final of the year in her eighth tournament of 2011.

With no play on Friday, because of the public holiday in Germany, fifth-seed Stosur says she will use the day off to rest and practise before bidding to beat Goerges, who will have the Stuttgart crowd behind her.

"I think it's going to be tough, obviously she will have the crowd behind her," Stosur told AFP.

"But the crowd here are fair and they just want to see some good tennis.

"It will be tough no matter what and I am just looking forward to it."

With a month to go to Roland Garros, where Stosur reached last season's final, the Australian says she is feeling confident and looks to be recapturing her form again in Stuttgart having made last year's final here.

Having been taken to three sets in both of her matches here, Stosur says the tough work-outs are helping her mentally as much as physically having struggled since making an early exit from the Australian Open in January.

"These three-set matches were what I had been struggling with, so to win two back-to-back and being a set down (against Zvonareva), it is very encouraging," Stosur said.

"It's all coming together.

"I feel really good playing here, it's a great court and playing indoors helps, there are no wind or influences to make things difficult.

"Everything comes off the middle of the racquet and it is a really good feeling out there."

Before this week, Stosur had only reached one quarter-final all year, causing her to fall from fourth to seventh in the rankings over the last six weeks.

She is already projected to go back up to sixth by virtue of reaching the semi-finals.

Stosur described her quarter-final win as probably the best match she has played all year and said she will change nothing in her routine before the semi-final.

"Anytime you can go this far in a tournament you've got to be pleased with the result," she said.

"At the end of the day I'm focusing on playing good tennis, win or lose. I hope I can do the same thing on Saturday.

"The key is to keep things as similar as you can, but not be too crazy about it so if something changes you think things won't go well."

Goerges is through to her first premier-level semi-final, and she is also the first German to reach the last four here since 1999.

"Sam is a very strong player. She can be really awkward to play against on clay, so I'll definitely be the underdog," said Goerges with the German having won the only previous meeting between the pair last year in Tokyo.