Stosur Tops The Page

French Open 2012
By Hiland Doolittle, June 4th, 2012

Lean and fit, Samantha Stosur, the sixth seed, overcame a strong challenge from America’s biggest new hitter and moved in the quarter finals as the lowest seed in the top bracket. Sloane Stephens looked to have the first set in her grasp but failed to convert a service game and succumbed 7-5, 6-4.

Samantha Stosur

Samantha Stosur

Sloane’s performance may well have knocked Venus Williams out of the Olympic singles team. The 19-year old showed the power and grace that will soon make her a top ten player. As for the defending US Open Champion and Roland Garros finalist two years ago, Stosur did what she does best.  The Australian has one of the best serves in women’s tennis and matches it with one of the best forehands on the WTA circuit.

Stosur will next have to deal with another big server, Angelique Kerber (10) of Germany, who closed out Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-3, 7-5.  Kerber is very much in form and will give Stosur a run for the money.

The day’s most stunning result was 15 seed Dominika Cibulkova’s triumph over top seed and top ranked Victoria Azarenka. The moody Azarenka has been out of sorts.  She was lucky to escape the first round.  The mighty mite, Cibulkova had Azarenka on the ropes in Miami and did not make the same mistake twice.  Her 6-2, 7-6 (4) win was a gutsy finish.

In another surprise Italian Sara Errani (21) upset Aggie Radwanska’s conqueror, two-time Grand Slam Campion Svetlana Kuznetsova (25) 6-0, 7-5.  Svetlana was given the edge due to her prowess on clay, but Errani breezed through the first set in less than 30 minutes and put on a little more pressure when it was needed in the second set.

With Serena Williams, a first round casualty and Maria Sharapova at the top of her game, the second page of the draw has held form pretty well.  If Sharapova reaches the finals she will reclaim the top ranking.

The bookmakers see it this way. Sharapova is a 5/4 favorite.  Stosur is listed at 9/2 with defending champion Li Na at 5/1. Second seed Petra Kvitova is at 8/1.  We still like Li Na to defend, but Stosur and Sharapova have been strong.


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