She’s on top of the world after demolishing Serena Williams in the US Open final, and who can blame her?
The result made her Australia’s first grand slam champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley secured her second Wimbledon title in 1980.
It was the first time the nation had claimed the women’s singles crown at the [US Open] tournament since Margaret Court Smith in 1973.
“I think I had one of my best days so I guess I’m very fortunate to have been able to do it on this stage in New York where I’ve always loved to play, so thanks everyone,” Stosur said.
“Ever since I really started playing and knew what a grand slam was, this was always a dream of mine to be here one day and I don’t really know what to say or how how I’m feeling.” [source: samstosur.com]
I’ve long admired Stosur’s composure, particularly in face of fickle Aussie support over the last few years when she’s “only” reached the finals or semifinals instead of being “a winner” (which will now all be forgotten as if nobody ever called her a “choker”, of course). I’ve really enjoyed the pics of her on the telly this morning wearing such a very simple and comfortable outfit to get around the chat shows and photo ops with her trophy, too (apparently it’s expected that the winner poses in Times Square – how typical that I didn’t know that because the Aussie press only covers if “one of ours” is the winner). I hope Stosur has a fantastic and well-deserved break for a few months without the stress of travel and competition until the Grand Slam season opens up again next year.
Categories: arts & entertainment
I’m so happy for her. She’s worked so hard for so long. Hopefully the intensified “RoleModel!1!eleventy!” focus won’t be too invasive or unforgiving.
Wonderful stuff Sam. I heard the tail end of an interview with her brother Daniel this morning. She is spending a couple of days in the US doing touristy things, then coming home for a quick visit with family then she is off to Asia to continue playing. I’m guessing it’s something to do with maintaining or improving her ranking since the next Grand Slam is in January in Melbourne. I’m not an elite tennis player so I’m not exactly sure how these things work.
I imagine that there’d be tournaments where she has already signed up to play in months ago which she is still contractually obliged to appear in now (unless she’s unable to because of illness/injury), and she certainly would want to still keep her hand/eye/footwork in. There’d have to be a lot less pressure associated with those now though, just from a financial point of view if nothing else, so I’d expect her to perhaps withdraw from any later tournaments where she hasn’t quite finalised the signing-up process yet, so that she can just concentrate on keeping match-fit without necessarily having to go through the travel/contest rigmarole more than absolutely necessary.
I suspect you may be right TT. Now she can give herself a bit of breathing space and focus on the really important tournaments. I was thinking earlier how difficult it must be for Aussie sports people whose careers mainly take place overseas because unless it is in NZ there is a lot of travel involved and after a while you’d get sick of getting on a plane and leaving your family behind all the time.
Most of our news coverage (NZ) was making a big deal over Serena Williams losing her cool at that match and being penalised for ‘screaming’. I’m not even sure why she was penalised, I didn’t hear anything in the clips they played that sounded any different to normal tennis (to me). And they just kept playing clips of what she was muttering to herself about the (ref? I don’t really tennis). I didn’t really see the point except to pick on her.
Sounds like the Australian coverage was more sensibly focused.
I doubt very much that this is the case – ranking is very much dependent on all the tournaments, not just grand slams, sponsorship money is dependent on ranking, seeding is dependent on (among other things) ranking – and prize money for smaller tournaments is not insignificant either.
Sam’s only ranked 7th; her win at the US open moved her up from 10th. No way is she going to sit back and take it easy without the travel/contest rigmarole when that would jepordise her rankings, her prize money and her chances of being among the top seeds at other big tournaments – which in turn has a big effect on the likelihood of making later rounds = more prize money and better rankings.
Not to mention the psychology of being out of the game.
@Katherine, I didn’t see it live but I did see a few replays. The problem was that Serena thought she had hit a winner and yelled “C’mon” before Sam had actually hit the ball. Chances are Sam wouldn’t have got the ball back across the net, from what I saw, but your opponent isn’t allowed to do anything to put you off your shot. The ref could have given Serena a verbal warning and asked for a replay of the point, which I’m sure Serena would have been okay with, and Sam as well. The ref was perfectly within the rules to award the point to Sam though. I guess it depends on the ref on the day. Serena was gracious enough to say later that it wouldn’t have made a big difference in the long run since Sam was playing so well anyway.
@Rebekkah, all good points. I thought she might be able to cut back just a little to find a slightly more relaxed balance between match-fitness/tournament-mindset/enjoying-life, but I’d forgotten about wanting to work up the rankings a bit more to get better seedings.
@Katherine & Mindy, Serena’s latest outburst was quite mild compared to the one a few years ago during the Kim Clijsters match. Still, she’s received so much more opprobrium and disdain for both outbursts than I ever remember Jimmy Connors or John McEnroe getting, and they did it habitually and manipulatively as part of their game strategy, which I don’t think Serena does at all – she just occasionally gets very upset.
Yes, unbecoming conduct for a woman don’t you know. Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and James Blake have all gone off at umpires and not got as much media coverage, although from memory James Blake got more than the others. Maybe Serena’s ‘problem’ is that she was angry while female and black.
Geat post from crunktastic about the coverage of Serena’s outburst: Refereeing Serena: Racism, Anger, and US (Women’s) Tennis
I think the fine of $2000 (from a total prize of over US$1million) might have been their way of saying ‘we have to fine you for the outburst, but yes it should have been handled better’.