Entries in Sam Stosur (3)

Monday
Jan022012

5 WTA Players To Watch With One Eye Closed

There are some women's tennis players who we can't wait to watch, but whose matches need be approached with caution.  I expect these women to bring great excitement, but also, possibly, great disappointment and lots of sighs.

Sharapova – Maria’s WTA ranking is 4 and she had the 5th highest winning percentage of 2011.  She won the Australian Open in 2008 before incurring a shoulder injury.  Her double fault tendency (since the shoulder surgery) leads to some tense matches. Additionally, she seems to still be suffering from the sprained ankle incident in Tokyo. Eek!

Na Li – The excitement of Na Li wining her first Grand Slam and making a final in another is tempered by her losing in the 1st and 2nd round of the rest.  Eh…

Stosur – The pressure of being an Australian at the Australian Open is enough, but now that Sam’s won a Grand Slam, many fans will be expecting another.  Recently we’ve seen weak follow up from the newer Grand Slam winners. Kvitova, Li and Schiavone all lost their follow up slams by the 2nd round.  Yikes!

Clijsters – The Australian Open defending champion was mostly absent from tennis in the 2nd half of 2011 after both a foot and stomach injury.  She’s back in Brisbane, but will her level of play compare to last year?  Hmmmm.

Christina McHale - She's USA’s next big hope for women’s tennis after a great hard court season in 2011.  But memories of Oudin prevent me from investing too much in that hope for now.   Oy! 



Sunday
Sep112011

Sam Stosur - The 2011 US Open Champion

It's deserving that Sam Stosur should win the 2011 US Open as Sam provided fans with some of the best tennis of the tournament. 

Her 3rd round match against Nadia Petrova was the longest match for women's tennis since the tie break rule was created. She lost 2 match points in the 2nd set, only to be broken by Petrova and lose the set.  She also lost serve in the 3rd set and stuggled to come back and win.  Since I had her going to the finals in my bracket, this was a paticularly tense match for me. View photos from the Sam Stosur / Nadia Petrova match

It didn't get any less stressful in the next match against Kirlenko.  She squandered match points again in the second set and lost it in a record-breaking tie-breaker (17-15). But she managed to pick it up in the 3rd and win the match.

Seeing how Zvonereva dominated Lisiki, I didn't have high hopes for Sam to win that match.  Instead, Sam Stosur was dominant, winning 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour.

At this point, I definitely thought she could get to the final, but it took her 3 sets to beat the 92nd ranked player, Angelique Kerber. 

Serena Williams on the other hand was dominant in all her matches.  She hadn't dropped a set.  She served up bagels.  She beat the number 1 player, Caroline Wozniacki and the 4th seed, Victoria Azarenka. It was hard to imagine that Sam Stosur could beat the former number 1 player and former US Open Champion, given their very different roads to the final.

But Sam was perfect.  Frequently serving and sometimes breaking at love, she was clearly the winner, despite the drama around an unusual call by the chair that gave Sam a break in the first game of the second set (to Serena's fury).

Sam won the US Open 2011 6-2, 6-3 giving Australia something to be proud of. 

As a result, I lost my bracket, but the joy of watching great tennis, unexpected results and lots of fighting spirit is worth it.

I also plan to analyze her psyche to determine why she is dominant against her toughest opponents, but teetering in matches where she is so close to winning against lower ranked players.

Congratulations, Sam Stosur, US Open Champion!

Friday
Aug262011

Preparing to make your bracket picks for the US Open

Just a reminder of who made it to the Quarter-finals in the US Open for 2010.  There are some surprises!  I'd forgotten.

Caroline Wozniacki

Dominika Cibulkova

Kaia Kanepi

Vera Zvonerava

Francesca Schiavone

Venus Williams

Samantha Stosur

Kim Clijsters