Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No Fed Cup guarantees from Stosur

Updated May 24, 2011 12:53:00

Samantha Stosur's coach says there are no guarantees about when the world number six will next play Fed Cup for Australia.

The French Open finalist, who is set to play her second-round match against Simona Halep at Roland Garros on Wednesday, skipped last month's tie against Ukraine.

Stosur missed the Melbourne tie in an effort to collect enough points to maintain her high ranking and prepare for the current French Open.

In the thumping right-hander's absence, Australia was beaten and will consequently drop back to World Group II next year.

Her coach and Fed Cup captain David Taylor said it was a difficult balancing act for the 27-year-old, who has been a committed member of the national team for years.

A higher ranking allows for easier draws and they are invaluable as Stosur pursues a maiden grand slam title.

"It is hard," Taylor said.

"The precedent has been set by those top players like Roger Federer when he came out publicly and said the ITF (International Tennis Federation) just don't listen.

"So consequently participation by top 10 players in Davis Cup and Fed Cup is very low.

"So I don't know.

"Sam probably has to be at that level now where it is very important to maintain her ranking.

"She is very passionate about representing her country and I think she will always try to make it work.

"I don't think she is going to guarantee it."

If it comes down to a choice, there is a strong argument that Stosur capturing a grand slam would be more beneficial to the sport in Australia than her Fed Cup participation.

"I think that is bigger for tennis in our country," said Taylor.

"She is very passionate about playing for Australia but winning a grand slam, you represent your country every time you walk on the court, not just necessarily in a team event.

"Fed Cup does mean a lot to her but winning a grand slam is every player's dream."

But for now, the Queenslander's focus is on world number 67 Halep.

Stosur defeated Halep in straight sets in the opening round at Roland Garros last year and Taylor said she was wary of the Romanian.

"She is better than she was last year," said Taylor.

"It is great that Sam has played her and knows what to expect from her and she is obviously pretty heavily favoured."


Tags: sport, tennis, australia, france

First posted May 24, 2011 12:52:00

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