Daily Tennis News Wire -
Memories of Martina Hingis’ infamous and much criticized observation about Amelie Mauresmo being ‘half a man’ at the Australian Open 13 years ago resurfaced as vanquished Dominika Cibulkova insisted her French Open conqueror Samantha Stosur played with the same superiority.
Stosur, who stands under 5ft 8ins tall and weighs 143 pounds, was simply too strong for the Slovak who previously ousted world no.1 Victoria Azarenka. “She played like a man, and it's really hard to play against a man,” said 15th seeded Cibulkova. “It was driving me crazy on the court. It was really, really hard."
But Cibulkova, when questioned further on the matter was insistent she did not mean her comments to sound derogatory about the 28 year-old Australian who beat her effectively in straight sets.
Cibulkova tried to qualify her statement by adding: "I'm not saying anything bad. I'm just saying she's playing like a man. She’s just very strong and fit.
"Nobody has a serve like her. She's kicking the serve so much so she gets me out of the court, and her topspin from the forehand, nobody is playing topspin like her. It's more men's style, so it's what I meant."
Meanwhile Stosur has credited her junior coach Ian Brady with providing her with the weapons that left Cibulkova in despair. “'I'm fortunate that he was a very technical kind of coach and he tried to do that with a lot of his players and obviously saw the potential in me to get the technique down,” said the sixth seed.
“When you start growing, you get a bit bigger and stronger and it really becomes more and more effective.
“So it's really all from that young age learning it. At that age, who knows if you're ever going to make it to this point? But I guess that's just good looking ahead from the coach I had at that time.”
Stosur also credits the influence of her girlhood hero, twice US Open champion and current Australian Davis Cup captain Patrick Rafter who employed a classic kick serve. She added: “It does allow me to try and open up the court and then really be able to go the other way and get them running straight off the first shot.”