Friday, April 6, 2012

Stosur wins two matches in one day

I am Sam
Would you? Could you?
In a car?
Beat them! Beat them!

Here they are.

She didn't have to play in a car, but Sam Stosur had to play in the cold and the wind, and she had to play five and a half sets, for a total of four hours, 20 minutes and 21 seconds. Stosur's quarterfinal against Galina Voskoboeva had to be postponed last night because of rain. Play resumed today with Stosur leading 4-2 in the first set. The 2010 Family Circle Cup champion took that set easily, but her level of play went down in the second set and she made enough errors to allow Voskoboeva to make a serious challenge. Stosur got back on track in the third, however, and won the match 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

Stosur's next match was scheduled to take place after the Serena Williams-Sabine Lisicki quarterfinal, but that match was cut short because of injury, so--before you could say "Would you, could you, in the rain?"--the Australian star and Family Circle Cup 2nd seed was back on the court. It was still windy and cold, and Stosur had an extra challenge to face--Venus Williams. In four attempts, Stosur had never beaten Williams, and three of Williams' victories had occurred on clay courts.

The 2nd seed served at an extremely high level in the first set, winning it 6-3. But in the second set, she had problems with her second serve. She was close to going up 3-1, but Williams broke her, took over the momentum, and won the set 6-4.

There was some talk that Stosur might be tired at this point, though she certainly looked fresh. She regained her serving poise, and forehand winners exploded off her racquet as they had throughout the match. Williams had break points in the final set, but the momentum was clearly with Stosur, who raced through the final two games and won the set 6-3.

Sam I am!

This was the best match of the tournament so far, with both players going after almost all the points aggressively. And even though she lost, Williams had a lot of fire for someone who had not set foot on a clay court since 2010. She said afterwards that "The court is not that easy to play....I don't know if I got the hang of it before I...exited the tournament, this court." She also said that "...I think a lot of the times I was too far away from the ball. I didn't--wasn't quite on my groundstrokes yet this tournament."

Stosur has to come back tomorrow and play Venus's sister, Serena. "I think I'm in a good space right now," she said after the match. "I know exactly what I want to be doing, and if I'm doing the right things, but missing it, it doesn't bother me, because I know that's the way I'm going to win more matches."

Try them and you may, I say.

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