Stosur stuns angry Serena to win title
Samantha Stosur outplayed three-time champion Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3 to win the US Open on Sunday, claiming the first Grand Slam title of her career in a stormy final
Samantha Stosur kept her composure as Williams erupted in anger at the chair umpire in the second set, dominating the 13-time Grand Slam champion who had reached the final without dropping a set.
She became the first Australian woman to take the title in New York since Margaret Court in 1973, and the first to win a Grand Slam since Evonne Goolagong won Wimbledon in 1980.
“I had one of my best days and I’m very fortunate that I had it on this stage in New York,” Stosur said. “Ever since I started playing it was a dream of mine to be here one day.”
Williams arrived in the final after dismantling world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals on Saturday night in a match that dragged toward midnight.
“I was more tired than I expected,” Williams said. “But I want to give all credit to Sam today ... She played really, really well. That’s what you have to do when you play a Grand Slam final.”
Stosur, playing her second career Grand Slam final after a runner-up finish in the French Open last year, quickly claimed the opening set, breaking Williams to lead 2-1 and winning the last 12 points of the set as Williams’ frustration grew.
Williams, whose powerful serve is a cornerstone of her game, struggled to get her first serves in and Stosur repeatedly made her pay.
“She was cracking ‘em today,” Williams said of the Australian, who was still rolling in the opening game of the second frame when she gave herself a double break point with a crushing return of serve.
Williams saved one with an ace, and appeared to save another for deuce.
But the American’s shout of “c’mon” as soon as she unleashed her forehand came before Stosur reached the ball, and umpire Eva Asderaki immediately penalised Williams for “intentional hindrance” and the point and the game went to Stosur.
“Aren’t you the one who screwed me over last time?,” Williams bellowed at Asderaki. “That is totally not cool.”
The scene recalled Williams’ similar meltdown in her 2009 semi-final defeat to Kim Clijsters.
In that match, she unleashed a tirade of abuse at a lineswoman who called a foot-fault during the tense match and a penalty point sealed her fate in a 6-4, 7-5 defeat.
This time an angry Williams – backed by a suddenly energised crowd on the 22,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium – immediately stepped up her game, breaking Stosur for 1-1 and holding to edge ahead 2-1.
Stosur remained aloof from the dispute, but admitted the crowd response was intimidating.
“It was probably the loudest I ever felt a crowd in my whole entire life,” she said. “You’re right in the middle of it.
“It was definitely a quite overwhelming feeling. But once I hit that next ball in the court and started playing again, I felt settled.”
Williams continued to berate Asderaki on the changeover, but Stosur stayed calm and saved two break points in the fourth game to level the set at 2-2.
Stosur said she didn’t really know just what was happening between Williams and the umpire.
“I was just kind of there,” she said. “I do know the rule, but it’s not something I’ve ever had to deal with.”
She gained the edge with a break for 4-3, and broke again to seal the match with yet another blistering return off a Williams second serve on her third match point.
Serena last night escaped with a fine of just $2,000 for her US Open final rant, when she launched an angry tirade against the chair umpire in Sunday’s title match.
The American, who was under a Grand Slam probation for another outburst in 2009, could have faced a ban if officials had deemed Sunday’s tirade to be a “major offence” under the Grand Slam code of conduct.