Stosur predicting tears in Open farewell
Murray Wenzel |
Samantha Stosur is tipping tears, especially from her mother, when the moment arrives at the Australian Open later this month.
The 37-year-old announced last week that her 20th Australian Open campaign would mark the 2011 US Open champion’s final singles appearance on tour.
It will close the book on a remarkable career that netted not only that famous Flushing Meadows defeat of Serena Williams, but another French Open singles final appearance a year earlier and three more semi-final appearances at Roland Garros for the former world No.4.
A US Open doubles crown last year – one of seven in women’s and mixed – was enough to convince her to continue that caper for at least another year.
She has only ever reached the fourth round in a less-than-flattering Australian Open record, but Stosur said bowing out on home soil in singles was always the plan.
“It feels a little different being my last one; I just want to enjoy the moment, be out there, have some fun and the goal is to play well,” Stosur, who will play this at week’s Melbourne Summer Set said.
“If I win great, if I lose, so be it, it doesn’t matter, no pressure.
“The biggest thing will be my own expectation to play well, do what I want to do that’s a unique position to be in.”
She’s not denying her final solo walk to the net won’t be emotional though.
“I’ll be a blubbering mess … I know there’s going to be tears, but it’s not for stopping,” she said.
“It’s been a huge part of my life, something I’m very proud of.
“I’m going to look up in the stands and probably I’ll see my mum crying and I’ll definitely be gone.”
Stosur never dominated on home soil like she did on the Paris clay or US hard courts, but her impact on Australian tennis will remain storied.
The top-ranked Australian singles player – male or female – for 441 consecutive weeks between 2008 and 2017, Stosur was ranked inside the top 25 for nine straight years.
Many of today’s emerging Australians credit her for their success, something not lost on the humble veteran.
“Things like that make you feel good,” she said.
“I had my idols when I was growing up so to think that I might be that for some other players now is a special place to be.”AAP