Despite a shaky lead-up to the year’s first Grand Slam, Stosur shrugged off an early January first round exit from the Brisbane International to trump the world No.49 in 78 minutes.
The tournament’s 20th seed continued her undefeated run against the “unorthodox” Niculescu while reaching service speeds of 180 km/h to help finish off a quick 21-minute second set.
“I think start of the match was quite tense from both of us. You know, playing against Monica it’s very different tennis. I think there was a lot of balls where there was no pace and I was really having to generate a lot of what was going on,” Stosur said.
“It’s very easy to go out there and beat yourself against her when she’s forcing you to do certain things that maybe are a little bit uncomfortable.”
Stosur will play Coco Vandeweghe after the American defeated Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-2 6-2 in another Tuesday first round matchup.
“It’s going to be a very different match to today no matter who I play,” Stosur added. “CoCo has one of the biggest serves on tour. Doesn’t really hold back on any shot, whether it’s serve or groundstrokes. She’s a big girl. She has lots of power. You got to kind of combat that with what you got to do. That’s hard. There’s not going to be too many long rallies playing her.”
Fellow Aussie Casey Dellacqua also cruised to a day two victory, knocking out Yvonne Meusburger 6-4 6-0.
The 29th seed collected 27 of 35 points to roll over Meusburger in a 21-minute second set and will play the winner of Tuesday evening’s battle between Lesia Tsurenko and Madison Keys.
Photo: Manan Vatsyayana/Getty Images.