Stosur return raises long-lost Fed Cup dreams
SAM Stosur is to rejoin the Australian Fed Cup team next year for a charge at making the nation’s first final since 1994.
Stosur, 33, made herself unavailable for selection this year to free up her schedule, an objective ruined by a hand injury that sidelined her from Wimbledon and the US Open.
But with the Gold Coaster, ranked No.41, one of three Australian women in the yearend top 50, the possibilities of success with Ash Barty, Daria Gavrilova and Casey Dellacqua are enticing.
Stosur is stepping up training in Sydney under coach Josh Eagle for her summer campaign, which starts at the Brisbane International from December 31-January 7.
“I’d love to be a part of Fed Cup again. We have a fantastic team now and I’ll be talking to Alicia [Molik, the Australian captain],’’ Stosur said. “We are working through a few things on how we can make it come together.
“I’ve thought about it all this year to be honest after I made the decision not to play this year.
“It’s difficult with scheduling to do it every single year.’’
Australia won the last of its seven Fed Cup titles in 1974 and Stosur’s best year in the competition was a 2015 semifinal elimination by Germany.
Australia is one of seven nations with three or more top-50 women, others being the US (six), Germany, Russia and Czech Republic (five) and France and China (three).
Stosur’s commitment to Fed Cup tennis over the years insulated her from criticism over her 2017 unavailability.
In February, the Ukraine, which can draw on world No.6 Elina Svitolina, plays a tie in Australia from February 10-11 in the first round of the world group competition.
Stosur played five WTA tournaments on return from injury in September.
“I feel refreshed. I have five more weeks of training and there is a lot of time to get ready to have a good tournament in Brisbane,’’ she said.
BACK IN BUSINESS: Sam Stosur