Sunday, September 11, 2011

Serena Williams to win 6-2, 6-3 in US Open final

Sam Stosur pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the history of women's Grand Slam tennis finals by comprehensively outplaying a frustrated Serena Williams and claiming the U.S. Open title with a 6-2, 6-3 win on Sunday.

Stosur claimed her first Grand Slam singles title and became only the second Australian to win the U.S. Open crown by dominating a match which she was widely expected to lose to the home favorite.

Williams lost her composure, arguing with the chair umpire after being docked a point for shouting out in the midst of a rally. It was reminiscent of the ugly tirade against a line judge two years ago.

The overwhelming favorite for the match, Williams suffered only her second ever loss in a Grand Slam final to someone other than sister Venus; she was beaten by Maria Sharapova in the 2004 Wimbledon decider.

"I had one of my best days," Stosur said. "I'm very fortunate to do it on this stage."

"To go out there and play the way I did is just an unbelievable feeling, and you always hope and you want to be able to do that, but to actually do it, is unbelievable."

Hitting powerful strokes from the baseline, and looking fitter than her opponent despite a series of gruelling matches over the tournament, the ninth-seeded Stosur became the first Australian woman to win a major championship since Evonne Goolagong-Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980.

Five-time champion Margaret Court is the only other Australian to win the U.S. Open.

Only 2-9 in tournament finals before beating Williams, Stosur made the U.S. Open the third consecutive Grand Slam tournament with a first-time women's major champion, after Li Na at the French Open, and Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon.

"She played really, really well. She's a great player, and it's good to see," Williams said. "I tried my hardest and she kept hitting winners and I was, 'Oh my God, what am I doing?'"

This was only the 27-year-old Stosur's third title at any tour-level event, and what a way to do it. She took advantage of Williams' so-so serving and stayed steady throughout - finishing with 12 unforced errors to Williams' 25 - despite the bizarre events that unfolded in the second set.

Down a set and facing a break point in the first game of the second, the 13-time major champion hit a forehand and shouted, "Come on!" as Stosur reached down for a backhand. Chair umpire Eva Asderaki ruled that Williams hindered Stosur's ability to complete the point and awarded it to Stosur - putting her ahead 1-0 in that set.

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