Ana vs Stosur

Ana vs Stosur

Ana takes on world No.17 and home favourite Samantha Stosur in the third round of the Australian Open on Friday. It will be the eighth meeting between the pair, with the 29-year-old leading the head-to-head series 4-3.

Ana won their last encounter, at the Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia last November, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, but she has lost both of their two matches on outdoor hard courts in straight sets, including at the 2006 Australian Open.

"No secret it's going to be a tough match," said Ana after her 6-1, 6-2 win over Annika Beck yesterday.  

"I had two tough matches last year against Sam. I lost one, won one. She's a tough player, has a very strong game. I have to raise my level in order to beat her."

Stosur was similarly respectful about Ana, after she demolished Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-2 in round two. "It's going to be a tough match," she said. "Ana has been playing well last year. Last two tournaments last year we played, she won one, I won one. Couple three setters in there. It's going to be a tough one."

The match has been scheduled at night, sparing the players the brutal conditions that caused delays on Thursday when the Extreme Heat Rule was invoked, amid temperatures of 42C (108F).

Nevertheless, Ana is coping relative well with the heat. "We've been playing in this heat for years now," said Ana when asked about the conditions following her second round match. "Not every year we had this many days in a row. But it's something you expect to face when you come over here."

The match is scheduled to begin at 7pm local time (9am Central European Time; 3am Eastern Time).

Click here for live point-by-point scoring from Melbourne Park.