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While Stosur says she couldn’t do a chin-up until recently, she can squat nearly 200 pounds. She works on lunges and dynamic movement, staying away from weight machines. She uses “a lot of dumbbells and Swiss balls” for balance and core exercises. Stosur, who sprained her left ankle in February before a quarterfinal match in Doha, prefers riding the stationary bike because it avoids wear and tear on the feet and joints. Interval cycling spikes the heart rate, which also occurs during long, high-intensity points on the court. She has focused on leg strength the last two years because moving out wide to a ball requires stability and “knowing you can hit a good shot and not be on the defensive.”



Stosur and Serena Williams are among the few women strong enough to use the kick serve. It bounces high and away from the returner, leading to many easy points. Stosur used it to reach the French Open semifinals, her best showing in the Grand Slams this year after losing in the first round of the Australian Open and second round of Wimbledon. She practiced it soon after getting a tennis racket for Christmas at age 8. The key is “don’t throw it too far behind” your head and “get up and swing at 100 percent pace.” Use a strong wrist motion and brush under the ball, hitting from bottom left to the top right. It’s even better if done “with a good bit of disguise on the ball toss.”