When Samantha Stosur plays tennis, it is poetry in motion. There’s a beautiful, confident competitor with all the snappy trimmings, an up and down storyline with an ending that is inconclusive but on the horizon.
On the women’s tour, it is common knowledge that Elena Dementieva is the best player to have never won a major. However, Samantha Stosur is sure to replace Elena if the Australian fails to garner a coveted Grand Slam this season.
Dementieva is in decline. Her weak serve leaves her too vulnerable to survive seven matches in two weeks. Stosur, on the other hand, has all the weapons, the foot speed and the mental toughness it takes to go all the way.
In a sense, she has already been there. For several years, Samantha was regarded as a force in women’s doubles. She reached the number one doubles ranking in February 2006. Paired with Lisa Raymond, Samantha won the U.S. Open doubles championship in 2005. The pair followed that initial win with a runner up title at The 2006 Australian Open and another win at the French Open. Stosur also holds two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. But, she could not make similar strides in singles. To improve her singles record, Samantha worked with coach David Taylor to add velocity and kick to her already effective serve and to improve her forehand return of serve and baseline play.
When she added a strategic one-handed backhand slice and gained the confidence to overtly favor her forehand, Samantha’s singles successes began to escalate. In 2009, she reached the third round in Melbourne and the semifinals in Paris. People began to stop talking about Samantha as a doubles player and started considering her a serious threat.
Samantha finished 2009 as the 13th ranked tour player. The 26-year old has come a long way since a friend gave her a tennis racket at age 6. It was her brother who quite quickly realized this was no ordinary tennis protégé.
At aged 13, Samantha entered her first International event. She has been competing internationally ever since.
Unquestionably, Samantha’s best performance to date was her 2010 move through a difficult bracket to the final at Roland Garros. Along the way, she took out tournament favorite, Belgian Justine Henin and top seed Serena Williams in tough three set matches.
Perhaps it was nerves, perhaps it was the mental fatigue of six difficult matches, but the Aussie came up flat and tense against Francesca Scvhiavone. To her credit, the 29-year old Schiavone saw the hesitancy that was not present in Samantha’s earlier matches and stole the moment.
Samantha will have other chances. They may not come at Wimbledon, but the chances will come. Stosur cannot be ruled out of any match. Her serve is too strong, her forehand too powerful and her conditioning too consistent for her not to succeed.
Samantha is an attractive, well-conditioned athlete. Blessed with a radiant smile and a magnificently sculpted frame, Samantha is one win away from becoming the next tennis super star and photo shoot waiting to happen.
For Samantha, it is not a question of looking back, but a question of looking forward. Cheers!
|Birth Date||March 30, 1984|
|Residence||Gold Coast, Australia|
|Year Turned Pro||1999|
|Current Rank – Singles||7|
|Current Rank – Doubles||38|
|Career Prize Earnings||$5,756,877|
|Year-To- Date – Earnings||$1,441,567|
|Grand Slam (Singles)||0|
|Grand Slam Doubles||2|
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