Stosur claims long-awaited first title in Osaka
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:48
Sam Stosur has clinched the first WTA singles title of her career with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Francesca Schiavone at the Japan Women’s Open.
The 26-year-old, who has won 22 doubles titles, is the first Australian woman to land a WTA Tour title since compatriot Alicia Molik beat Stosur in Sydney in January 2005.
Stosur’s breakthrough victory puts an end to a run of five straight finals defeats since losing to Molik, including this year’s Los Angeles final where she lost to Flavia Pennetta.
But facing another Italian in Osaka, Stosur edged out Schiavone in the first set before dominating the No.4 seed in the second with a break in game three to run away with the match in just over an hour.
“I played very well in the first set and barely made a mistake,” Stosur said. “I was still playing well in the second and nearly led 4-1 but she got back into the match.
“I just told myself not to panic, keep doing the same things as I did in the first set and stay positive,” she added. “Obviously I’m pleased to bring it back and close it out.”
But while Stosur celebrated the psychological boost of a maiden Tour victory, Schiavone’s own wretched run in WTA Tour finals continues. The Italian has won just one title from eleven final appearances.
For Stosur, who beat US Open finalist and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals, the victory is likely to return her to a career-high ranking when the rankings are released on Monday.
The Australian is tipped to move up from No.15 to No.13 in the world, leapfrogging former world No.1s Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic in the process.