Stosur gets horror Gold Coast draw - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stosur gets horror Gold Coast draw

By Todd Balym 01/01/2005 05:11:07 PM Comments (0)

Samantha Stosur's happy new year turned sour when she was dealt a horror draw in the Uncle Toby's Women's Hardcourts on the Gold Coast.

A semi finalist in her home tournament last year, Stosur has drawn world No.18 and fourth seed Karolina Sprem of Croatia in the first round.

It's a tough first-up encounter for 2005 but the 20-year-old has proven in the past she is up for the challenge.

Last year the right-handed Stosur stunned many tournament seeds, including Sprem in the second round, to reach the tournament's semi final in front of a parochial home crowd.

Stosur's superb start to 2004 was the catalyst to her finest year on the WTA where she finally reached the top 100, finishing the year ranked No.65 in the world.

Hopes are high on the Gold Coast that the local girl may prevail in the popular Australian Open warm-up event.

But she meets a refreshed Sprem, who also had a fine 2004.

Although Stosur prevailed in straight sets both times the pair met last year, it was Sprem who really established herself throughout the season.

The 20-year-old rocketed herself into the top 20 for the first time of her career but had her year cut short by a viral infection in November.

Tournament director Liz Smylie believes the Stosur-Sprem match up is clearly the pick of the first round clashes.

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