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September 11, 2011

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US Open 2011, Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
September 11, 2011
Editorial by Jane Voigt.


 

Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Stosur Upsets Serena - Wins First Grand Slam
 
September 11, 2011 -- Samantha Stosur came to play and to win, upsetting the foregone projected winner, Serena Williams, in straight sets today during the Women's Singles Final at the 2011 U. S. Open. This is Stosur's first U. S. Open title and her first Grand Slam title.
 
Stosur, 27, is also the first Australian woman since Margaret Court in 1973 to win in New York. Stosur's victory caps off a year where four different women won four major titles: Kim Clijsters - Australian Open; Li Na - Roland Garros: Wimbledon - Petra Kvitova; and now Samantha Stosur - The U. S. Open.
 
Stosur was brave, alert and willing to risk it all, being the underdog. As she served for the first set, cameras zoomed in. Her face reflected the confidence of a champion, which she became about an hour later.
 
At the start of the second set, though, the somber day for Americans and peace loving people around the world and fans inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, erupted as Serena Williams screamed, "Come on," with one loud 'bellow' as Virginia Wade characterized it, calling the match for the Open's live-streaming broadcast, before the point was over.
 
The match had become another stage for Serena's drama.
 
Williams walked to the baseline, straightening her strings and acting as if nothing had happened. Eva Asderaki, the chair umpire, got Serena's attention -- you cannot call out in the middle of a point. Williams feigned ignorance. But the International Tennis Federation's rule clearly states that if a player shouts out intentionally, then she/he has committed a hindrance and the point goes to the opponent.
 
Asked in her press conference if she had intentionally hindered Stosur, Williams responded, laughing, "No. I mean, I didn't, but I can't even -- you know, I think my opponent played really well. I actually thought it was a winner, but she did really good to even put her like racquet on it. I thought it was a clear winner. I thought it was the hat drop rule, where you drop a hat you kind of replay the point. I don't know. I think for the most part it was just -- I don't know, I tried my best. As always, I gave 100%."
 
The chair awarded Stosur the point and because it was Stosur's advantage in the game, she won it and started the set with a break.
 
As they changed ends, she shook her finger at Asderaki.
 
"You have it out for me," she yelled. "And I promise you that's not cool."
 
She took a couple steps and turned back to face Asderaki.
 
"Aren't you the one that screwed me over the last time? Yeah you are."
 
Williams' memory was a bit off. Mariana Alves was the chair ump that made the most egregious line call in the history of line calling, as Serena played Justine Henin at the Open in 2004. Alves's insistence that she was correct in her decision on a ball far away from any accurate viewpoint formed the foundation for electronic line calling -- Hawk Eye.
 
Williams rage boiled over, as she served game two. She broke back. They were on serve.
 
By the time Williams covered her legs with a towel at the changeover, she was all over Asderaki once again.
 
"If we're walking down the hall and you see me, look the other way," Williams began, looking up at Asderaki. "You're a hater and unattractive inside. What a loser. Don't look my way."
 
Why Asderaki took the verbal abuse is a question she will have to answer. She had the green light to call her for a code violation, but didn't.
 
In her press conference, Williams side-stepped questions about the incident, according to several people in attendance. "I don't even remember what I said. I guess I'll see it on YouTube." She also said, "I'm just so glad to be here. I was just in a zone and I zoned out."
 
Back on court, Williams drilled in on her resentful attitude and tried to make a comeback. However across the net was Stosur. She had weathered two 3-set matches to reach the finals, playing the longest match in U. S. Open history and with it the longest tiebreak against Maria Kirilenko, who won the breaker 17-15. With sets split, Stosur collected herself to pull off the win and advance to the quarterfinals where she defeated 92-ranked Angelique Kerber in three on Grandstand -- the court with no television coverage.
 
Stosur knew she'd come in to the final as the underdog. She knew how to right herself in adversity. And the match was uproarious. Serena riled the fans, acting self-righteous to the hilt. The comparisons to her diatribe in the 2009 semifinals were justified. This incident not only turned the environment sour, many had to have been embarrassed.
 
Stosur weathered the storm perfectly, playing within herself and continuing to use her serve and forehand effectively.
 
After Stosur broke to go up 5-3, she let out a big, "Come on," which fans know is uncharacteristic for the Aussie. She wields a silent sword. But Stosur had a right to be pumped. She was one game away from her biggest win.
 
Williams looked determined to change the outcome. However, Stosur's measured shots and calm demeanor overpowered the most powerful woman in tennis.
 
Stosur won 62 63 and dropped to her knees in disbelief and joy.
 
During the trophy presentation, Stosur was a bit lost for words. She admitted she didn't know what to say, but did thank her support group and "everyone back home," adding, "I look forward to coming back home."
 
"She just kept hitting winners," Serena said. "I hit a winner, but I guess it didn't count. But, it wouldn't matter anyway."
 
In her press conference, Stosur was jubilant, "Yes, I won the U. S. Open. It feels sooo good. Time to celebrate."
 
Amazingly, Stosur's first Grand Slam title is also only her third career title. She won Osaka in 2009, then the Family Circle Cup in 2010.
 
"It was the best day of my career," Stosur told Mary Carillo, just after the match."
 
Stosur won $1.8 million USD, for her victory. Serena Williams won an extra $500,000 for wining the U. S. Open Series, prior to the start of this slam.
 
As she posed for photographs on center court, Stosur seemed younger than her 27 years. She smiled sweetly and readily moved to positions they requested. She walked the perimeter of the court, showing off her U. S. Lawn Tennis Association inscribed sterling silver trophy.
 
Stosur didn't exactly look the champion, then, as she had during the match. However, she will soon realize that she did it. She beat the odds and became a Grand Slam champion in her own rite. Her one dream had come true.
 
Women's Doubles
 
Two American women won the Women's Double Title, before Stosur and Williams played their final. The victory for Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber was extraordinary, given the length of the match and the intensity of play. The final score was 46 76(5) 76(3).
 
"It was doubles play at the highest level," Virginia Wade said.
 
This is Huber's second grand slam title and Raymond's third. However, this is their first major title as a team. They defeated Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova.
 

 

 
[9] Samantha Stosur (AUS) d [28] Serena Williams (USA) {red dress} 62 63
 
9/11 American Flag 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Samantha Stosur 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Serena Williams 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Samantha Stosur 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Serena Williams 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Samantha Stosur 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Serena Williams 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Samantha Stosur 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Serena Williams 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Samantha Stosur 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Samantha Stosur 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Samantha Stosur Trophy 2011 US Open New York Tennis
Samantha Stosur Trophy 2011 US Open New York Tennis

 
Earlier Columns from this Event:
 
September 10, 2011 US Open: A Crack of Luck - Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Murray, S Williams, Wozniacki
September 9, 2011 US Open: Fabulous Friday - Murray, Isner, Nadal, Roddick
September 7-8, 2011 US Open: They played - Djokovic, Tisparevic, Federer, Tsonga, S Williams, Pavlyuchenkova, Nadal, Muller, Isner, Simon, Murray, Young
September 6, 2011 US Open: Over The Years
September 5, 2011 US Open: The Big Stories - Tipsarevic, Ferrero, Djokovic, Dolgopolov
September 4, 2011 US Open: The Outliers - Nadal, Nalbandian, Roddick, Benneteau
September 3, 2011 US Open: Embellishments - Wozniacki, King, Monaco, Haas
September 2, 2011 US Open: Moving Closer - Pennetta, Sharapova, Isner, Ginepri
September 1, 2011 US Open: Will the Real Top Seeds Please Stand Up - Federer, Sela, S Williams, Krajicek
August 31, 2011 US Open: Big Day - Murray, Devvarman, Stosur, Vandeweghe
August 30, 2011 US Open: A Kid In a Candy Store - Nadal, Golubev, Blake, Huta Galung
August 29, 2011 US Open: The Youngsters, Plus One - Fish, Kamke, Dulgheru, Kvitova
August 28, 2011 US Open: Before It All Begins
 

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