Roma: O’s Tennis Star Sam Stosur Smashes Her Way into WTA Rome International Masters


She may have not conquered her first final of the year, but Sam Stosur is definitely in form.

Oakley’s World Top 10 ranked Aussie bashed through rival after rival at the WTA Rome International Masters in Italy, eventually falling to Maria Sharapova in the Finals after suffering through some stomach issues the night before the headline match.

But make no mistake, up to that point, Sammy displayed just why she’s one of the best on the Planet.

In a stroke of revenge for her French Open defeat last year at the hands of Italian Francesca Schiavone, she upended the Milanese standout (6-2, 6-4) to cruise into the semifinal.

Stosur never dropped her serve and faced only one break point – despite the raucous partisan crowd of 10,500 backing Schiavone.

“I think I played really well today and I don’t think she played her best – but that’s because I played well and she couldn’t find anything to do,” Sammy said, rocking her Transitions Prescription Oakley Enduring eyewear. “Perhaps she was a little bit more nervous with the crowd behind and it made it a little bit more difficult with the expectations of flying high.”

Sailing into the next match versus Li Na, she remained rock solid – topping the formidable Chinese standout (7-6 [8-6], 6-0) in a relatively short amount of time.

The victory maintained Sammy’s unbeaten record against Li – ranked one place above her.

The sixth seed got off to a flying start and broke Li in the opening game, working the Chinese wide to her backhand and forcing a short defensive return before steaming up to the net and powering away a forehand winner.

The Australian came out of the gates on fire in the second set as well, as Li double-faulted on break point in the second game. The Chinese player’s game declined from there as Stosur blasted through the rest of the set – sending her into the Final match against Maria Sharapova.

Sammy wasn’t quite as sharp as most of the week in the last match, falling (6-2 6-4) to the Russian after a disruption the night before (stomach ailment).

“I’m disappointed to lose but, as a whole, I thought Maria played quite well and I simply wasn’t at my best today,” she said. “It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t the final I wanted. But it has been a great week and each week I played in Europe, I got a bit better. It’s what you want heading into a grand slam.”

Sammy has beaten three top-six players in the past three tournaments: Schiavone, Li Na and Vera Zvonareva – but slips to No. 8 on the WTA computer while Sharapova moved up to No 7.

All in all, one great week in Rome for Sammy! Watch for her as she charges toward Roland Garros in Paris…


Andrew De Lara


May 16, 2011

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