Stosur confident she'll be ready for Open

When are three losses better than one?

When you are Australia's number one female tennis player Sam Stosur and looking for some form leading up to the Australian Open.

Stosur had her hold over world number 5 Agnieszka Radwanska loosened at the Hopman Cup in Perth on Thursday night, going down 3-6 6-4 6-3.

It's the second win the Pole has enjoyed over the world number 18 Stosur in five contests; having lost the previous three.

But for Stosur, who would usually kick start her summer in Brisbane, a third straight loss in the annual Perth mixed-team tournament is not the worst thing for her.

Last year she was knocked out of the first round in Brisbane by world number 41 Sofia Arvidsson. She was then bailed out of the Australian Open in the second round.

Stosur has played in Brisbane in four of the past five years and has not reached the third round. Her best performance at the Open in those years was the third round [2011 and 2009[.

In 2010 she played in the Hopman Cup, where she is guaranteed three matches [she won one] and she won through to the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she lost to eventual champion Serena Williams.

“Yeah, even though I have had three losses compared to one loss, in Brisbane, I do feel better at this stage; this is exactly what I need, these matches under my belt, win or lose,” she said.

“It was the sole purpose of coming here this week. I would have loved to have won them all, even one, but I am getting that match play, which is exactly what I need at this point in time.

“I am not unhappy with the way that I am hitting the ball.

“Obviously there is more that needs to improve to get through these matches, but I am hitting the ball well and that's half the battle.

“At least it's clean; you can only go up from there.”

Stosur said she had even had the chance to throw a few things into her game in Perth that she had been working on, including the drop shot, that worked a couple of times in her game against Radwanska.

She won the first set in 51 minutes, breaking the Pole twice.

Radwanska sought medical attention for a shoulder injury in the second set when she was leading 3-2, then broke Stosur in the next service game for a 4-2 lead.

The Australian gave up her serve twice in the final set.

Radwanska said she has learned to play with the long term injury.

“I have had a problem with the shoulder for a long time now and this is the beginning of the season,” she said. “It was a little bit sore and tight but I was able to continue.

“It's a tendon that gets inflamed. When you keep going it doesn't really help.

“I was happy it was a good warm up before Queensland. This is the best preparation.”

Radwanska says a couple of days rest allows for the shoulder to settle down and that she doesn't expect it to cause her any issues during the remainder of the Australian summer.

She was a quarter-final loser at the Open last year, going down to La Ni.

“I feel confident, especially because I had three good matches here,” she said. Radwanska beat Stosur, plus Italy's Flavia Pennetta and Canada's Eugenie Bouchard at the Hopman Cup.

“I think I am all prepared, so I think I am ready to go.”

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