Samantha Stuns Serena

French Open 2010
June 2nd, 2010, by Hiland Doolittle
Samantha Stuns Serena

Samantha Stuns Serena

When you next look at Samantha Stosur, check out the Australian’s right arm. That is the serving arm of a very fit, well prepared tennis player. Stosur worked that right arm hard in recording a dazzling 6-2, 6-7 (2), 8-6 triumph over Serena Williams that is probably the pretty Aussie’s biggest win of a solid career.

The seventh seed, a semifinalist in Paris last season, used the same formula that she used to knock out four time French Open champion Justine Henin against the top seeded Williams. Once again, Samantha was successful with a strong serve and a soft, slicing backhand.

Stosur, who possesses the tour’s best record on clay, recorded her 19th clay court success of the year. For a while, she appeared to be in complete control against the unsettled Williams.

Stosur used her reliable serve to dominate the first set. When Williams was serving, Stosur moved around her backhand to strike piercing forehand returns. When the players got into exchanges, Samantha uncorked her sliced one-handed backhands that consistently had Serena off balance, out of position and off balance.

After successfully frustrating Williams in the first set, Stosur continued to apply pressure in the second, racing to an impressive 5-3 lead. Serving for the set, the Aussie showed her first bit of nervousness. With her back against the wall, Serena put her attack in high gear. The match suddenly took on the feel of the American’s stunning reversal against Victoria Azarenka at the Australian Open.

Aided by some loose serving from Stosur, Serena saw an opening. As the “on court bully” is prone to do, she filled the opening with two powerful forehand winners to record her first break of the match. When the number one seed, found her first serve to seal the set, the momentum that Stosur clearly maintained for two hours suddenly changed.

Winner Poker

Williams, whose first serve had let her down in the first set, improved her effectiveness so that at the end of the match, she held a 76 –70 percent first serve winning edge and a 13-6 ace advantage. The problem for Williams was that she had 9 double faults to Stosur’s one. The Aussie won an impressive 59 percent of Serena’s second serves. These are statistical advantages that are uncommon for Serena’s opponents.

Stosur converted 5 of 14 break point opportunities while Williams only won two of nine break points. Most importantly, Williams committed 48 unforced errors to Stosur’s 24.

Despite Stosur’s statistical advantage, the third set felt like it belonged to the forceful American. Serving first, Serena continued to blast first serve winners registering three aces in one game and two in the next. Meanwhile, Samantha seemed tentative and often appeared to be fighting herself. Yet, she persevered, saving the critical 4-5 game from 15/40 and finishing off the game with an ace.

Earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles...

With Williams serving at 6-6, Stosur played her best game of the match. At 15/30, Stosur used a forehand-backhand combination to draw Williams to the net and then blistered a cross court forehand past the lunging top seed. At break point, the combatants exchanged shots before Stosur spanked another forehand deep down the line.

Serving for the set for the second time in the match, Stosur was in control of her nerves and the match. This time she did not let the opportunity pass. Samantha landed all her first serves to seal the game and the match. When Williams hit a forehand return long, Stosur briefly flashed her radiant smile to the excited crowd.

Hot Jankovic Cruises Into Semis

Hot Jankovic Cruises Into Semis

Hot Jankovic Cruises Into Semis

Sporting her favorite yellow dress, Jalena Jankovic continued her dominating play and earned a berth opposite Stosur in the semifinals along with Elena Dementieva and Francesca Schiavone. Jankovic has resurrected her game and appears ready to move up in the rankings once again. The former world number one was down a break in both sets but quickly restored order in notching the 7-5, 6-4 win against Yaroslava Shvedova in 90 minutes.

Jankovic enjoyed a 17–25 unforced error advantage and converted 6 of 8 break points. Yaroslava converted four break opportunities. Both players had four double faults. Jankovic will need to tighten her serve if she is to succeed against Stosur.

Shvedova was competitive but served loosely and showed nerves when under pressure. Jankovic has reached her third semifinals at Roland Garros and holds a 3-1 record against Stosur. However, in their last meeting earlier this year in Miami, Stosur won in straight sets.


No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.