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Stosur hopes to put lean year behind her

Jelena Jankovic of Serbia reacts after hitting a return to Sam Stosur of Australia during their women's singles quarter-final match at the W
Jelena Jankovic of Serbia reacts after hitting a return to Sam Stosur of Australia during their women's singles quarter-final match at the W

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Sam Stosur hopes to banish her home court demons on the way to more grand slam glory after failing to add to her major trophies in 2012, the Australian said on Friday.

"Overall, finishing number nine in the world, it's still pretty good," the former US Open champion told local media.

"It's not as high as I wanted it to be, that's for sure.

"But taking a break and reflecting, parts of my game have improved and others can still improve."

Foremost on Stosur's mind will be improving her game Down Under where nerves have got the better of her time and again.

Stosur, 28, who has long consulted with a sports psychologist and made little secret of her yips in front of home fans, exited in the first round at this year's Australian Open, where she has never gone beyond the third round.

"I put far too much pressure on myself in the Aussie summer because I really, really wanted to do well," she said.

"You only get the opportunity to play at home for a few weeks and I probably built it up too big and didn't handle the occasions on court very well at all."

Although in her twilight years in tennis terms, Stosur still believes she can capture a second grand slam title after her breakthrough at Flushing Meadows in 2011 where she upset Serena Williams in the final.

"For sure. Now that I've done it once, you have to think 'why can't it happen again?'," she said.

"It was a great two weeks, I played unbelievable tennis and obviously that final was everything you want a grand slam final to be.

"You do it once, you want to believe you can do it again."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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