Monday, 12 September 2011

Samantha Stosur: The New US Open Women's Champion

Sam Stosur def. Serena Williams 6-2, 63

Australia's Sam Stosur is this year's ladies' singles US Open champion, and she produced one of her greatest ever performances to do it, beating no less than 14 time slam winner Serena Williams. Stosur, in only her second major final, crushed the nerves that stifled her in the French Open final last year, and similarly crushed Williams in two straight, convincing sets. From the off Stosur declared her intent by attacking Williams relentlessly with her powerful inside out forehand and hitting huge, high kicking first serves which frequently surprised and jammed the strong American up. She did not succumb to the strong start-rapid collapse narrative either as she broke Williams to secure the first set, and kept up the pressure at the start of the second. Her untroubled confidence was threatened in the opening game when Serena engaged in a heated spat with the umpire after she had yelled out before a point was over, and the point (and the game subsequently) was awarded to Stosur. The American crowd, predictably wound up in a storm over the ruling, could have got to her. But in great testament to her unflinching mental determination, she remained as cool as she had done in the first set, and despite being broken immediately after, managed to break Williams to go 5-3 up. She closed the match out, nervelessly, and with a perfect sense of appropriateness by hitting a powerful inside out forehand that sailed past Williams for a winner, and sealed her name as a new Grand Slam champion. There have been 3 new champions this year, but of the three only Stosur has a home Grand Slam in the Australian Open, next January - expect her to be a major contender, and to give Australian tennis the inspiration it has been searching for in the past few years.

No comments:

Post a Comment