Why Sam Stosur Will Win the 2011 US Open
As the women's semifinals draw closer, all eyes will be on the blockbuster clash between Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki. The World No.1 vs the "Real No.1," as people are calling it.
Exciting as that will certainly be, I strongly believe that the winner of that clash will end up as the runner-up in this tournament.
That is so because this is a tailor-made situation for Samantha Stosur, and here's why.
Grit and Determination
On her way to the US Open semis, Stosur has set two records as far as the length of her matches are concerned.
She fought grimly past Nadia Petrova (7-6, 6-7, 7-5) in the longest US Open women's match of the tiebreak era, coming back from a break down late in the deciding set. Then she survived the loss of the longest women's tiebreak in Grand Slam history, losing the second set breaker 17-15 to Maria Kirilenko before rallying to win the match.
She seems determined that this is her year, and she knows she has to make it count.
The women this year have been given as much time between the semis and the final as Roger Federer takes between points, that is to say, not much time at all. Recovery will be key, but just as important is the aim to try and play a short match on Saturday.
Serena against Wozniacki has the feel of a real slugfest, and whoever ends up winning will probably do so in three sets and as many hours.
Stosur plays 92nd-ranked Angelique Kerber, and she could make short work of the inexperienced German and turn up fresh on Sunday. She could exploit the fatigue of whoever is on the other side of the net.
Sam Stosur unarguably has the best second serve in the women's game. Her kick serve has been very effective in the past, jumping up high to players' backhands and creating all sorts of problems.
Her first serve is lethal enough as it is and combined with the kick serve, breaking her could be very hard for Williams/Wozniacki, let alone Kerber.
She's Beaten Serena Before
Serena Williams is the only Grand Slam champion left in the women's field, and with 13 Slams, she is an overwhelming favourite for the title. Sam Stosur is the only one who's beaten Serena out of the women that remain, and that could be absolutely vital.
She knows what it takes if she faces Serena on Sunday, as she's done it before at a Grand Slam (Roland Garros 2010). She is unlikely to get as tight on the big points as Wozniacki might on Saturday, and knows how to hold her nerve, given that she saved a match point in that clash.
This is her time, and she knows it.