Samantha Stosur Stuns Serena Williams

2011 US Open
By Hiland Doolittle, September 12th, 2011
Samantha Stosur Wins 2011 US Open Women's Title

Samantha Stosur Wins 2011 US Open Women's Title by Defeating Serena Williams by 6-2, 6-3

27–year old Australian Samantha Stosur picked a dramatic day to play the best match of her life and complete her run all the way to the $1.8 million winner’s share at the US Open. The ninth seeded Aussie, used her high-kicking serve and powerful forehand to outduel America’s own champion Serena Williams.

Williams showed early signs of inconsistent play and this time Samantha did not wilt on the game’s biggest stage. Believe it or not, the 2011 US Open title is just Samantha’s third tour championship. But, the trim and very fit Stosur saw an open door and marched on through it.

In the first set, Samantha used every weapon in the arsenal to disrupt Serena’s seemingly unstoppable game. Stosur out-served, out-hit and out-executed the bigger and stronger Williams. The win kept Serena’s Grand Slam title count at 13 and marked the first time since Margaret Court’s 1973 championship that an Australia claimed the Open Women’s Title.

Stosur used every shot to keep Williams off balance and moving. A former number one doubles player, Stosur displayed dazzling net volleys as well as a reliable overhead that other players have not executed when facing Williams.

Stosur was especially effective within her sometimes erratic backhand. She mixed a solid two-handed backhand with a wicked one-handed slice that Williams could not handle. Stosur also used the slice to draw Williams to the net and passed her on three occasions and out-volleyed her in the match’s best face-to-face confrontation.

After romping through the first set, Stosur braced for what would surely be a Serena power move. In the first game of the set, Stosur held break point. Williams cleanly drilled a half court forehand that appeared to be a winner but before Stosur could put her racquet to the ball, Williams let out an intimidating “Let’s Go!”

The chair umpire made a courageous call and ruled a violation for vocal interference. The penalty awards the point to the disrupted player. The point resulted in a key break.

Williams was irate but on tender ground because of her abrupt dismissal after an abusive reaction against Kim Clijsters two years ago. Serena’s ongoing dialogue with the chair umpire was replayed during and after the match and America’s number one may be facing a stiff fine once again.

The result of Serena’s outburst was that it rallied the packed house to her cause. These are moments that might have overcome Stosur in the past. But, not this time around. Williams did get the first game back with her only break of the match and square the set at 1-1. She followed the break with a solid service hold and Samantha showed some signs of rabbit ears.

At 1-2 Williams applied pressure to Stosur arriving at a 15-40 opportunity for break. Stosur promptly unloaded a clutch ace down the middle. She followed with a solid serve that Williams hit just past the service line. Stosur coolly played the shot deep into the forehand corner and Williams could only manage to get it to the bottom of the net.

The Samantha Stosur express was back and up and running. A more mature Stosur than we saw in Paris last year came to the fore. She broke Williams again to lead 3-2 and then backed up the break with a gutsy, perfectly executed service game.

At 4-2, Williams served a brave game and tightened the set. But, to her credit, Stosur blocked out the crowd and served and stroked the ball at her highest level. The hold left Williams serving to stay in the set at 3-5.

The US Open Champion showed her mettle by blasting a 15-40 break point into Serena’s forehand corner one more time. The attractive Aussie, who is an excellent ambassador of the game, seemed shocked by her win. After losing a year and a half to Lyme’s disease in 2007 – 2008, Samantha’s career seemed limited to doubles. To her credit, she worked herself into spectacular shape and developed a reliable high-kick serve that is regarded as the best on the tour when Serena is out of action.

On this day, Stosur 2 aces, 1 double fault but won a convincing 73 percent of her first serves. Williams only won 62 percent of her first serves and a measly 33 percent of her second serves. Stosur won a surprising 63 percent of her second serves.

Meanwhile, Stosur’s strong right arm was not only serving well but it was pounding Williams’ shots. And, many of those big forehands came at key moments. She converted 5 of 9 break point chances.

For Stosur, this win is a credit to her courageous play. She played in the longest US Open Women’s match in history and in the longest US Open tiebreaker ever played. She was taken to three sets by 92nd ranked Angelique Kerber yesterday.

Hey, there is no doubt about it. On September 11, 2011, Samantha Stosur played the match of her life and is the proud Champion of the US Open. We wish her well and hope Samantha gives us another title in Australia in 2012.

I must say that Samantha Stosur’s professional demeanor is a credit to the game she loves. Compared to a new generation of screeching, grunting and groaning, Samantha is a refreshing personality. She loves her game and works hard at her craft. Today, she enjoyed an overdue payday.

The US Open is honored to have a quality competitor win the trophy.



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