Stosur crowned US Open champion
Originally published on: 12/09/11 00:29
When Sam Stosur spoke on Saturday night about her three-set semi-final defeat of German Angelique Kerber, she admitted that winning a Grand Slam would be “an absolute dream come true.” A day later inside the colossal Arthur Ashe Stadium, the likeable Aussie achieved just that as she walked away with one of the four most sought after prizes in tennis.
The final was not without controversy, largely by Serena Williams’ doing. At the start of the second set, Serena was issued with a code violation and she made no bones about telling umpire Eva Asderaki just how wrong she thought she’d been. “Don’t even look at me,” Serena petulantly told the chair official at one point.
Stosur did well to keep her concentration as Serena flew into a grump, berating the umpire during the changeover as the crowd became similarly vocal.
Refusing to be drawn about the incident in her presser, Williams gave all credit to her opponent for the way she played. “She (Stosur) was cracking them today. She definitely hit hard and just went for broke. I give her all the credit because she really played phenomenal and she deserved to be the US Open champion this year.”
On Saturday night Stosur spoke about how, as a kid, she had stayed glued to the TV to watch Patrick Rafter win one of his two US Open titles in 1998. “I remember watching him and not going to school until his match was finished. You know, I told mum and dad, ‘I’m not going to school until it’s done’. I’m watching every point of it. Now it’s kind of funny to think I’m now in that situation Pat was in, and maybe there will be kids doing the same thing I did.” Given the final was played in New York on Sunday at 4.30pm, which works out as 6.30am Monday morning Aussie time, there may well have been a few late arrivals in the classroom!
Talking after the match, an ecstatic Stosur said: “I’m still kind of speechless. I can’t actually believe I won this tournament. I guess to go out there and play the way I did is obviously just an unbelievable feeling. You always hope and you want to be able to do that, but to actually do it, is unbelievable.”
Down-to-earth Stosur’s tactical analysis was that she was able to put pressure on Serena’s second serves and step up and play some good shots: “I hit the right spots at the right time and tried to vary it as much as I could,” and the 27-year-old has high hopes for the future. “I hope this is the first day of a new beginning for me.”
Stosur becomes the first Australian woman to win the US Open since Margaret Smith Court in 1973 and is the first Australian US Open champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.