Stosur shocks Serena for maiden Grand Slam win
Originally published on: 20/12/11 10:38
When Sam Stosur took to the court to face Serena Williams in the US Open final, she faced one of the most intimidating tests of her life.
Never mind the fact that the ageing American, who turned 30 at the end of September, had been out for the best part of the year with illness and injury, Stosur had to down a 13-time Grand Slam champion rocketing back into form, not to mention defeat Williams on her home patch, where she had already triumphed three times.
Undeterred, the Australian came out all guns blazing and buoyed by the fact that she had already defeated Williams in a Grand Slam after prevailing in three sets in the quarter-finals of the 2010 French Open, Stosur bullishly powered through the opening set.
Come the second Williams erupted – not into form, nor in any sense that might benefit her game – unleashing a tirade of abuse at umpire Eva Asderaki after the woman in the chair had penalised Williams for yelling ‘c’mon’ mid-point and correctly awarded Stosur the point.
The 27-year-old Queenslander kept her cool amid the drama, breaking her fuming opponent in the seventh game – and again in the ninth – to ride out the second set and become the first Australian Grand Slam champion in nine years, emulating countryman Lleyton Hewitt, who won the first of his two major titles at the US Open in 2001 before winning Wimbledon in 2002.
“To come out here and play as well as I did, it’s just an unbelievable feeling, especially to beat Serena on this court. I don’t even know how to describe it,” said Stosur, who produced a nerveless display far removed from her disappointing loss to Francesca Schiavone in the 2010 French Open final.
“To be honest I was feeling quite relaxed compared to my last Grand Slam final,” she added. “Maybe that helped, having that experience.”