Vika conquered. Stosur wins WTA Carlsbad

5 Aug

Azarenka Carlsbad

Victoria Azarenka. The face of determination.

Aussie Sam Stosur had reason to smile following her upset 6/2 6/3 victory over top seed Victoria Azarenka in the Southern California Open. It was Stosur’s first singles title since her “breakthrough” 2011 US Open victory. That match caused the tennis world to sit up and take notice of the little Aussie with the big guns, mule kicking serve and hostile forehand. Many predicted Stosur would win several Slam titles following her demolition of Serena Williams in that 2011 US Open final.

It has been 2 years of frustration, floating around the edges of the top 10, and blowing many chances, most notably at the French Open, but also at this year’s Wimbledon where Stosur was unable to capitalise on a draw that just kept opening up for her. Stosur’s inconsistency has always been apparent, and just last week she lost 1st round at Stanford. That result made her change plans and push for a wildcard into this week’s Carlsbad event. Perhaps the unplanned is something that works for her. For many years there has been much soul searching as Stosur, a self described “choker” battled mental demons and self doubt.

The pleasing aspect of this win over Azarenka is that despite Stosur taking a daunting 8 losses to 0 wins head to head into the match, she was able to get the job done by playing the big points well, so well, in fact, that the WTA web-site described her as having “nerves of steel”. Nothing could make Stosur, and coach David Taylor happier. While many reconcile the fact that the win over Serena was an aberration, those at Tennis Australia have never stopped believing (they have little choice as Stosur is the only light at one end of a very long tunnel). So it was not entirely unexpected that my phone beeped this morning and the Tennis Australia good news spin doctors were quick off the mark with a congrats Sam text. Now for New York.


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