Aussie Sam Stosur Marches On At French Open


Sam Stosur came into the French Open on fire with the best 2010 clay court record on tour, making her a top favorite to repeat her semifinal finish of 2009 or even better. Well on Monday Stosur came one step closer by taking down four time French Open Champion Justine Henin in a tough three set match.

“Obviously, beating Justine is going to give me lots and lots of confidence for the next match,” said Stosur, a French Open semifinalist in 2009 and a tour-best 18-2 on clay this year. “That’s obviously a great achievement for me, but it’s not over yet. I’m just in the quarters and going to play the No. 1 player in the world next.”

Next up on in the quarterfinals in the #1 player in the world, Serena Williams today on Philippe Chatrier Court. Look for Sam to utilize her best weapons – first and second serve, as well as her deadly forehand to keep Serena at bay on the slow red clay of Roland Garros.

Williams owns a 3-1 record against Stosur, including a victory at January’s Australian Open. Stosur’s win came on a hard court at Stanford, Calif., last year, and Williams was hardly complimentary afterward, saying: “She had a lot of lucky shots; she’s a good framer.”

Williams had nicer things to say Monday, calling Stosur “someone you can’t overlook,” and adding: “She’s no pushover, that’s for sure.”

Told of those remarks, and reminded about what Williams declared in 2009, Stosur smiled.

“I guess a lot of people have changed their idea about what kind of tennis player I am recently,” Stosur said. “I guess that’s a good thing.”

For years, she was known primarily as a doubles specialist, winning two Grand Slam titles apiece in mixed and women’s. She began to fare better in singles in 2006, but then was off tour because of illness for about six months in 2007-08.

So she, like the 22nd-seeded Henin, knows what it’s like to try to return to form after a layoff.

“I guess having that illness and being away from the game maybe scared me a little to think, ‘OK, I’ve got to go out there and play and really try and achieve what I’ve wanted to,” the 26-year-old Stosur said.


Matt Murray


June 02, 2010

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