Sam Stosur is eyeing off a date with Serbian star Ana Ivanovic, after sweeping through her opening round match at the WTA Tournament of Champions. The world No.19 claimed a straight sets victory over Elena Vesnina, to extend her recent run of good form to 10 wins from her past 11 matches.

Stosur had struggled against her Russian opponent in their previous encounters but managed to get on top early in Sofia. While the early games were a tight tussle, the 29-year-old eventually broke serve and ran away with the first set.

Vesnina came out firing in the second and jumped to a 3-love lead but Stosur regained her composure and rattled off six straight games to take the match 6-3 6-3 in 75 minutes. The victory squaring the head-to-head record between the pair at two-a-piece.

"I'm very happy with my first win here in Sofia", Stosur said. "In the beginning of the second set Elena began to play with more confidence and I'm satisfied because I didn't let her back into the match."

"My level probably went a little bit down and hers a little bit up, and I found myself 3-0 down pretty quickly. But I regrouped and was able to play well again, and won those last six games.

"It was important to bounce back as quickly as possible so she couldn't get a real run going."

The win means that the match against Ivanovic, who is a two-time champion at the event, will more than likely decide which player tops the group in the round robin tournament. However Stosur will fancy her chances against the former world No.1 having beaten Ivanovic last week in Moscow and being the victor on four of the six occasions the pair have met.


The Aussie will also go into the match in resurgent form, having only been beaten once throughout October. Stosur’s run saw her win the Japan Open for a second time, before reaching the final of the Moscow Open, where she was downed by Simona Halep.

The fourth-seed and former US Open champ said she was buoyed by her recent results and form as she sought to end the season in the best possible way.

"Anytime you win a group of matches like that it makes you feel good, and maybe in those tough moments in the matches you're in, you can draw on some of that confidence and think, 'I can do better, I can do this, I can hit that shot,' because you've been doing it day in and day out the last few weeks.

"So having a run of matches can certainly build confidence and help you in each match."

Damien Bellemore