Samantha Stosur's tennis reputation was built on doubles play. But since the former top-ranked doubles player began concentrating on singles, she has steadily climbed those ranks.
Stosur, the 26-year-old Australian currently ranked No. 11 in the world, advanced to the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Shuai Peng on Friday.
"Overall, I thought I played pretty well," said Stosur, the No. 4 seed. "The start of the match was pretty tight, and I got that break on the change of ends. I thought I had to step it up a gear and not play so many straight through the middle and give her a chance to hit it.
"Right from the first game, I did that a little better and I felt more comfortable. It was definitely nice to finish that second set off pretty quickly."
Stosur said Peng doesn't move all that well on clay, and she was able to use that to her advantage.
"She definitely didn't look too comfortable out there," Stosur said.
Stosur, known for her serve, had three aces in the final game on the way to closing the match.
"It's never easy to serve out a match," Stosur said. "When you can step up to the line and get a good start with a couple of aces, it makes you feel a lot better to get a 15-0 or 30-0 lead. You definitely feel more comfortable, and they never get a feel like they're going to break back. So it's always good to finish out a match serving well and holding it pretty easy."
Stosur has played in three previous Family Circle Cup tournaments, winning the 2006 doubles title with American Lisa Raymond. But winning the singles title would be much more important. Stosur said she has plenty of confidence going into today's semifinals.
"I think I've got as good a shot as anyone that's left to win," said Stosur. "I play Daniela (Hantuchova) next, and we've had some good matches in the past. I'm going to have to go out there and play like I did today and know that it's going to be a tough battle, to expect a tough match.
"But if I can keep playing the way I'm playing and maybe improve my service percentage a bit more, then I'll have a good chance."