the Age sports
Spot in tennis history awaits Sam Stosur LINDA PEARCE
June 5, 2010
Replay video Stosur's ex-coach backs her to win
Samantha Stosur's former coach Nick Watkins believes she can claim victory over Italy's Francesca Schiavone in Saturday's French Open grand final.
A RARE and precious piece of French silverware would change everything and nothing for Australia's newest grand slam finalist Sam Stosur. ''She still does the dishes and whatever else,'' quipped her father Tony, before flying to France with his wife Diane and sons Daniel and Dom. ''She's no superstar at home.''
In Paris, it's a different story. In the past fortnight, the unassuming Queenslander with the powerful man-style game and ripped physique has guillotined a string of celebrated opponents to reach the French Open final, in which she is favoured to become the first Australian woman to win a grand slam singles title in three decades.
On the red clay of Roland Garros, the seventh-ranked Stosur will play Italian Francesca Schiavone for the prized Coupe Suzanne Lenglen and the winner's cheque of $A1,614,000.
Samantha Stosur: 'Why can't I win one more?'' Photo: Amanda Prior
It is an irresistible opportunity for 26-year-old Stosur, who has already upset four-time champion Justine Henin, 12-time major winner Serena Williams and former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in successive rounds.
''I've beaten all those, so why can't I win one more?'' Stosur said after whipping Jankovic 6-1, 6-2 early yesterday. ''It is a final, so it's different, but it definitely gives me huge confidence going into the next match, and hopefully for the rest of my career.''
Not since Wendy Turnbull lost the 1980 Australian Open final to Hana Mandlikova has an Australian woman reached the final of one of the sport's four major tournaments, and not since the beloved Evonne Goolagong Cawley claimed her second Wimbledon title earlier that year has a local woman taken home the grand prize.
The French Open wait has been even longer, stretching back to Margaret Court's victory over a young Chris Evert in 1973.
Still, in the finest Australian tennis tradition, Stosur's career has been a
slow burn. A talented but not exceptional junior with supportive but not overbearing parents became a relatively late maturer; a relaxed and shy soul who has never sought attention and rarely received it has only recently emerged from the shadows cast by higher-profile compatriots such as Jelena Dokic and Alicia Molik.
Stosur's coach, Australian Fed Cup captain David Taylor, describes her as the opposite of a drama queen. And yet never has she appeared more confident or comfortable than on the Parisian dirt that has become her stage, since hosting her coming-out party as a surprise semi-finalist a year ago.
''She's a lot more outgoing than she was before - she was very quiet as a kid,'' says Tony Stosur. ''But she's a terrific kid.''
Eighteen years ago, a neighbour gave a young Samantha her first racquet. Two years before, back in Queensland, a flood had destroyed the family home and her parents' business. Tony Stosur took his family and their last $5000 in savings to Adelaide to open a cafe and start over. Sam and her brother Daniel would spend afternoons hitting balls at the park, but the need for professional coaching was soon apparent. Having shifted back to Queensland, Stosur became a regular member of junior Australian teams, a talented youngster, but not prodigiously so. She recalls staying up to watch Pat Rafter play at Wimbledon, and grew up idolising Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. In 1993, the Stosurs were at Melbourne Park to watch the Graf-Seles final. Young Sam was agog. ''That was just the best day of my life at that point,'' she said this week.
Yet, for all her own promise, such qualities as self-belief, consistency and tactical nous proved more elusive, and the relative comfort of the doubles court hosted much of Stosur's early success. Then, in 2007, she was afflicted by debilitating Lyme disease, a tick-borne bacterial infection. Confined to her home in Florida, Stosur was self-injecting intravenous antibiotics four days a week.
When she returned to tennis in early 2008, it was with renewed determination to advance her singles career. Now she has, to the point that a historic victory beckons. She will adjust her trademark wraparound sunglasses, unleash her damaging kick serve, belt that famous forehand. This is Sam Stosur's moment. The dishes can wait.
Sam, I am LINDA PEARCE June 5, 2010
Samantha Stosur of Australia plays a backhand during the semi-final against Jelena Jankovic. Photo: Getty Images
WHEN 15-year-old Sam Stosur first made the long journey from the sunny hardcourts of the Gold Coast to the alien claycourts of Europe, she failed to win a match. Dumped onto the foreign red dirt of the continent as part of a national 18-and-under team, Stosur spent five barren weeks in Italy, Belgium and France. "So that was my first experience," she recalled yesterday. "It wasn't a good one."
In 2003, when Stosur made her senior debut at Roland Garros, the ordeal continued. The world No. 141 failed to take a set from Indonesian Wynne Prakusya in qualifying. "She really struggled with understanding how to move on the clay, she was slipping and sliding all over the place," recalls her then-coach Craig Morris. "It felt horrendous, she felt so self-conscious about actually trying to get to the ball and executing."
Stosur can recognise now just how ill-equipped she was, how clueless about adapting to the claycourt game to which Rafael Nadal and others appear born. Australians, after all, were supposed to be more at home on grass, or even the hardcourts that had become the new national surface, and that included Stosur, with her big serve and powerful game. Indeed, John Alexander and Gigi Fernandez were among those to declare Stosur a potential future Wimbledon champion.
And yet, tonight in Paris, Stosur is one win from becoming the first Australian woman to own a grand slam singles title in 30 years, when she meets excitable Italian seventh seed Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final. On clay, of all things. Stosur, the world No. 7, is the clear favourite, having already won 20 of her 22 matches on her pet surface this northern spring ? the past three against former or current No. 1s Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic. Just last year, when Stosur and Schiavone met at Roland Garros, it was in the first round.
Indeed, until last year, Stosur had lost more French Open matches than she had won. Then came her coming-of-age run to the semi-finals where the first-timer failed narrowly against eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Her friend and former doubles partner Rennae Stubbs is not the only one who thinks Stosur would have won last year's title if she had really believed it possible.
Now, on all the available evidence, she does. Says Morris, Tennis Australia's athlete development manager: "Sam now expects to win the French Open and that shows on the court." And Davis Cup coach Todd Woodbridge: "I think it is a matter of belief. Sam has been in big matches, she has knocked on the door. That is what we are going to see in this final against Schiavone, she actually believes she belongs there now.
"She made a breakthrough at the French last year to make the semis and this whole 12 months has been an improvement, ever so small. Now she is ready for another breakthrough. A lot of players have one big result and feel they have achieved their limit. She has done the opposite to that, and thought, 'I can do better than that,' and gone forward. That is the most impressive thing."
But getting to this point has been a gradual, largely unspectacular and at-times painful process. For five consecutive years, as Stosur combined singles play with a stellar and lucrative doubles career, her individual ranking hovered largely between 30 and 70. Close, but not quite good enough. Able to hit every shot, but not always sure exactly when. Needing to learn that it is not about holding back so much as constructing points, following a plan, playing the percentages a little more, staying strong mentally.
A string of coaches ? including Fernandez ? was frustrated by her laid-back approach, even if others insist that it was not so much that she was not committed, just sometimes not quite intense or urgent enough. "You'd never say that she wasn't dedicated and you'd never say that she wasn't hungry to be a success, but she's had to understand herself, and what 100 per cent really is, and that process has taken her a few years to get through," Morris said recently. "Which is not a bad thing, because I think you'll find it will give her longevity in the sport."
So should the fact that she is self-motivated, not driven or harangued by a pushy parent, but left to develop and mature in her own time. Among several personal turning points, however, one came in mid-2007. Stosur began feeling unwell at French Open, and in September was diagnosed with Lyme disease, spending several days in the emergency ward with symptoms including severe headaches, nausea and fatigue.
She was sidelined until the following April, when, crucially, she teamed with David Taylor, the Fed Cup captain and former mentor of Alicia Molik and others, for whose services Stosur now reimburses Tennis Australia during those weeks when the pair is working alone. Taylor, hailed by Wally Masur as the best coach of women in the world, continues to play a critical role in Stosur's success, knowing which buttons to push, how and when.
While insisting she never doubted her ability to return, Stosur's priorities shifted during her time away. She had always played both singles and doubles; it was just that her doubles results ? she is a former world No. 1 and multiple slam winner, teaming successfully with Lisa Raymond ? had been superior. They also paid the bills.
"I guess having that illness and being away from the game maybe scared me a little bit to think, 'OK, I've got to go out there and play and really try and achieve what I've wanted to'," she said. "It wasn't an easy decision, because it's not easy to kind of take a back seat to a successful partnership or anything like that. But I had to take the chance, and I think it's definitely paid off."
Now, two years after feeling so weak she struggled to push a trolley around her local supermarket, Stosur is again achingly fit and imposingly muscled, even if Taylor says she has never done a bicep curl. Fitness, she says, has been a priority for about five years, each pre-season starting and finishing with a timed run up the staircase at Coogee Beach. For all the focus on her physique, it is far from a new development.
Nor have the basics of her game changed greatly; most of it is in the execution, and the understanding of her strengths and weaknesses. Stosur has the type of kick serve seldom seen in the women's game, one she learnt at the age of about 13 from Brisbane coach Ian Brady. "I picked it up pretty much straight away," she said. "All through my juniors up until now it has been a strength of mine and a weapon, and it's got better and better as the years have gone on. I think it is a rarity, so I can kind of pull it out or set myself up for the points in different ways than maybe some girls can, because I can hit that serve."
Combine that with a brutal forehand aided by the wicked topspin imparted by the same synthetic strings used by Nadal, and Stosur boasts the ideal game for clay. And so, while Taylor has repeatedly told Stosur she has the best serve and best forehand in the women's game, the band of believers is growing. "To be honest, she has almost . . . the game of a man," Jankovic said yesterday, meaning it as a genuine compliment.
Temperamentally, Stosur has slowly buried her reputation as a choker, a player whose fragility was exemplified by her heartbreaking loss to Serena Williams after holding four match-points in Sydney in 2009. This week, against both Williams and Henin, she was able to steady when the jitters threatened to take hold. Another pivotal moment came in winning her first career title, in Osaka last year against Schiavone, after five previous losing finals. She could do it. Yes, she could.
So, can she? Tonight? Jankovic thinks so, and she is not alone. More than a decade after her first attempt, the 15-year-old Australian who could not win on clay has become the 26-year-old who could. And can.
Champion leaves doubts in the dust RICHARD HINDS
June 5, 2010
FIVE months ago Channel Seven bumped Samantha Stosur's match at the Australian Open against Serena Williams in favour of re-heated news, shonky fridge repairmen and a cliche-riddled soapie. Tonight, Nine will clear its (very late night) schedule to show the Queenslander playing Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final, while Foxtel is boasting that, with a 3D coverage, it will give anyone with a fancy TV or leftover Avatar glasses even more of the new tennis idol to love.
Two-channel coverage, splash headlines and a mini-burst of Stosur-mania represents a transformation in the media's interest in a player once considered a potentially vast, but strangely unaccomplished, talent. But the more remarkable transformation has taken place within Stosur.
Gradually, perceptibly, the once yawning gap between her impressive physical gifts and fragile psyche has been bridged. At Roland Garros the finished product has not merely impressed, but astonished.
Not just in the brutal manner Stosur dismantled flaky Jelena Jankovic in their semi-final. There are deck chairs that take longer to fold than the Serbian under the relentless pressure applied by Stosur.
It will be the nerve Stosur displayed in surviving a match point during a tense, elongated deciding set in the quarter-final against Williams that will be recalled should she become Australia's first female grand slam champion since Evonne Cawley in 1980. Even on favourable clay, it was a moment - and a match - you could not have imagined her enduring a few years ago. Perhaps not even five months ago when, as Seven showed pimply adolescents romping at Summer Bay, Stosur was being taken apart by the world No. 1.
At a distance, Stosur was once an incongruous figure. Blessed with a strong, taut, imposing physique yet, when she removed her sunglasses, there was a trace of doubt in her flighty eyes. This apparent lack of self-belief might explain why Stosur's best results were on the doubles court where she got by much better with a little help from a friend.
Former coach Craig Morris said last year that while Stosur always had the game to achieve great things, her confidence had ebbed and flowed, a great victory against a more highly rated opponent often followed by a crushing defeat. Morris believed the battle with Lyme disease that kept Stosur out of the game from mid-2007 to April 2008 played a part in her transformation from doubles star and singles tease into a genuine grand slam threat.
''I think that helped show her that life can be tough and you can miss out on things if you don't make the most of your chances,'' he said. ''You can tell since then that she is pretty keen not to waste the window she has to achieve what she can.''
Over the past two years, as she learned to convert big victories into titles and made her ascent up the rankings, Stosur has earned the public's respect without being fully embraced. On the court she mostly unexpressive, her emotions masked by her sunglasses. To the media she is co-operative and courteous, but a fraction wary. But if athletes are often loved when they open their hearts, it is Stosur's ability to harden hers and eliminate the vulnerability created by her doubts that deserves admiration. If we know more about the player than the person, the attention Stosur would receive as champion from a voracious media would no doubt correct the balance.
When former Fed Cup captain John Alexander predicted Stosur would one day win Wimbledon, the instinctive raising of eyebrows probably said as much about the running joke Australian women's tennis had become as it did about Stosur's potential. Alexander is now the Liberal candidate for the seat of Bennelong and, should Stosur win tonight, he might use a politicians discretion to declare he was good to his word. A grand slam title delivered - just not the one he had mentioned.
Turns out that Stosur was better suited to Parisian clay where the ball sits up on her powerful forehand ready to be crunched. Which might provide a bonus for those with the agonising task of producing more like Stosur. Claycourt proficiency is said to be the way of the future for Australian juniors. A champion with red dirt on her sneakers rather than grass stains on her knees would be a timely role model.
Of course, in the past 30 years or so, Australia could not afford to be fussy about where its players won grand slams. Especially not its women. In Stosur we might finally get one. A ripper.
Veronica Powell of Melbourne Posted at 12:14 PM Today
Go Sam you can do it. you have what it takes to go all the way.
Comment 301 of 329
Allison of Melbourne Posted at 12:16 PM Today
Go get it Sam! We're all right behind you and will be watching you with a few beers in hand tonight! By the way, how did you get such awesome guns like that? I want some!
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An Aussie In The Caribbean of Cayman Islands Posted at 12:17 PM Today
You know you can do it, Samantha. And we do too. This is your time!!!
Comment 303 of 329
Meredith of Sydney Posted at 12:26 PM Today
You are playing absolutely brilliant tennis - you have nothing to lose you are already a winner! Good luck
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pied piper Posted at 12:26 PM Today
You are an inspiration to us already Sam, your efforts are unsurpassed....no go all the way...GO SAM!!!!
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Patricia of Sydney Posted at 12:31 PM Today
We will be supporting you till the last stroke, just remember calm focus execute when serving, love and hugsxx PB Sydney
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Dorothy Forbes of Hoppers Crossinf (Melb; Aust.) Posted at 12:42 PM Today
Samantha you are a true diplomat for Australia. Even the way you keep your 'cool,' reminds me a lot of Stefi Graf, she would come onto the court; get on with what she knew best...and stayed so cool..I say 'stay cool Sam' and our Congratulations for all of your wins & Metioric Climb in the rankings. The Forbes Family.
Comment 307 of 329
Crikey of South Yarra Posted at 12:49 PM Today
Vive La Mademoiselle STOSUR !!!!!!
Comment 308 of 329
Betsy Booth of Country Victoria Posted at 12:58 PM Today
good luck Sam
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Jude King of Victoria Posted at 1:02 PM Today
So proud of you Sam...you go girl you can win this one...it's waiting for you... Aussie Aussie Aussie...xo Jude
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Jo Shaw of Croydon Posted at 1:09 PM Today
An awesome acheivement so far, well done. Just one more match for the Championship, you can do it. We're all behind you.
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BERT Posted at 2:02 PM Today
Good luck Sam, We are Aussies; we try hard in whatever we do. You are a true blue, you will get there. Thanks for putting us up there ,cheers
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colette harraghy of melbourne victoria Posted at 2:11 PM Today
win lose or draw,we are all proud of you.you are an inspiration to the young people of australia and a really nice down to earth girl .good luck and a big c"mon.
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Ash Posted at 2:14 PM Today
Good luck Sam Hope you get a lovely piece of silver to take center stage on your shelf. We're all behind you
Comment 314 of 329
Sarah Posted at 2:26 PM Today
Good luck Sam
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Brayden May of Victoria Posted at 2:30 PM Today
Go Sam do Australia proud just that one more step to go play your normal game and really try your best show your girl power
Comment 316 of 329
Brian Groth of Taree Posted at 2:31 PM Today
Aussie Aussie Aussie Go Sam All of Australia is with you Yes You Can. Brian Groth Taree
Comment 317 of 329
Ronni - ACT Posted at 2:36 PM Today
Go SAM oi oi oi you can do it girl Bring it HOME!! Smash em! I've been watchy you since you started professional go girl.
Comment 318 of 329
Anne James Posted at 2:37 PM Today
Go for it Sam all the best
Comment 319 of 329
Carol of Mill Park Posted at 2:47 PM Today
Go Sam. Win or lose we are all very proud of you.
Comment 320 of 329
Archie Douglass of Melbourne Posted at 3:19 PM Today
Sam, time to show the true Oz fighting spirit and take this title you deserve. Go get it!
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Paul Posted at 3:28 PM Today
Sam, regardless of the outcome your still a winner in our eyes. A true blue dinky di aussie champ - you go girl
Comment 322 of 329
Joanie of Aussie fan in Arizona Posted at 3:35 PM Today
Congratulations Sam on your 1st Major final, looking forward to watching you play in afew hours and go all the way.
Comment 323 of 329
McPhee family of Brighton Posted at 3:58 PM Today
Fantastic Sam - amazing!!- we will all be watching and cheering for you tonight!! You can do it!! Enjoy!! and lots of luck*****
Comment 324 of 329
Russ of Indonesia Posted at 4:20 PM Today
GO Sam, play hard and best of luck.
Comment 325 of 329
miriam conder Posted at 4:41 PM Today
sam you have achieved so much this tournament . good luck in the final ..miriam
Comment 326 of 329
Alejandro Calderon of Victoria Posted at 4:52 PM Today
you already made history.Keep going. well done and finish. Alex.
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Anne-Marie Siesse of Melbourne Posted at 5:09 PM Today
You can do it tonight, Sam. You are the best this year. I am very happy for you. Go for it. You are a Champion anyway.
Comment 328 of 329
Jeff Douglass of Melbourne Posted at 5:18 PM Today
Sam your a champ! Your doing Australia proud win or lose tonight, but lets face it with your incredible ground strokes..its gonna be win. Cant wait to stay up with a vegemite sandwhich and watch you bring it home! All the best.
Comment 329 of 329
Well done Sam Stosur, but now comes the hard part...
Leo Schlink From: Herald Sun June 04, 2010 6:48PM 34 commentsIncrease Text Size Decrease Text Size Print Email Share Add to Digg Add to del.icio.us Add to Facebook Add to Kwoff Add to Myspace Add to Newsvine What are these?
Can Sam go all the way?
Leo Schlink and Jon Anderson assess Aussie hopes ahead of the French Open final
Views today: 507Sorry, this video is no longer available.Super Sam
Sam Stosur's three top scalips - One, Serbia's Jelena Jankovic whom she defeated in straight sets last night. Picture: AP Source: AP
Two -Serena Williams , whom Stosur defeated 2-2, 7-6, 8-6. Picture: AFP Source: AFP
First victim - the legendary clay court champ Justine Henin of Belgium, beaten by Stosur in the fourth round on Monday. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images
NOW comes the hard part - Sam Stosur will tomorrow night attempt to join Australia's tennis greats by winning the French Open after sweeping into the final.
The Queenslander swept into her first grand slam singles decider with a 6-1 6-2 thumping of histrionic Serb Jelena Jankovic early today.
Stosur will tomorrow night attempt to become the first Australian woman to win a singles major since Evonne Goolagong Cawley 1980 Wimbledon triumph when she faces Italian Francesca Schiavone.
Click here to leave your message of support for Sam Stosur
Boosted by stunning successive wins over claycourt genius Justine Henin, world No 1 Serena Williams and Jankovic, Stosur will start a short-priced favourite to beat Francesca Schiavone in the decider.
Both Stosur, 26, and Schiavone, 29, will contest their maiden grand slam singles final. The pair last year squared off in the first round in Paris, where Stosur eventually raced into the last four.
"I don't actually remember that much about that match. I know it was cold and wet and whatever. I got through it," Stosur said.
"We also played the final of the tournament in Osaka at the end of the year, last year, as well.
"I could probably think no matter what I'm feeling she's probably thinking it too, so it's a different new situation for both of us.
"Who knows how we're both going to feel?
"I'm sure there'll be some nerves out there, and I'm ready for that.
"ll try and prepare myself as best I can to handle anything that happens.
"But, yeah, I mean she hasn't gone through it before either, so that's probably a little bit comforting."
Only three Australian women have savoured the ultimate tennis achievement in Paris - Margaret Court, Lesley Bowrey and Goolagong Cawley.
"It's amazing, I can't believe I'm there," Stosur said after rocking Jankovic. "I can't wait for Saturday.
"It was not easy to get here, but I'm pleased to have even better memories (than last year's run to the semi-finals).
"It's going to be tough and I guess we'll see who wins on the day.
"I've been playing well and if I can keep this form going, why not?"
The muscular Gold Coast baseliner is the first Australian woman to reach a major singles final since Wendy Turnbull's run to the 1980 Australian Open when the event was played at Kooyong in December.
Court was Australia's most recent French Open champion - 37 years ago.
Schiavone advanced to the decider when Russian Elena Dementieva retired with a suspected calf injury when trailing 7-6 (7-3).
Stosur has not lost to Schiavone in four matches since 2005, boasting an overall 4-1 record against the Italian.
This morning, World No 7 Stosur dominated fourth seed Jankovic in perfect conditions, dropping serve only once in the match.
Stosur packed too much power against choking Jankovic, whose dodgy nerves saw the moody baseliner implode.
The victory was another celebrated chapter in Stosur's improbable rise to major success after almost losing her career to illness in 2007.
Stosur was once so weakened by the effects of Lyme Disease and meningitis she could barely complete the most menial task.
She is now probably the fittest player in world tennis. She clouted 18 winners to Jankovic's nine last night.
Stosur drew first blood, pummeling a forehand winner down the line to lead 3-1 before extending the advantage to 4-1.
Preying on Jankovic's untidy start, Stosur swept to a 5-1 margin before sealing the first set in just 24 minutes.
Jankovic countered briefly by steaming to a 2-0 lead in the second set by drilling a forehand winner past her opponent.
Stosur immediately dug herself out of the hole by breaking back with a battery of solid backhands after Jankovic led the game 40-15.
She then doggedly saved three break points to draw level before sprinting away with the match.
Fittingly, Stosur unloaded on a clean forehand - her favourite shot - to advance after just 60 minutes.
Schiavone became the first Italian woman to reach a grand slam singles final when Dementieva retired with a suspected calf injury.
Milan-based Schiavone, the 17th seed, was stunned by Dementieva's retirement after claiming the first set tiebreak.
The sudden end to the match caught spectators - as well as Stosur and Jankovic - by surprise.
Both players were rushed onto Court Philippe Chatrier by officials who were apparently caught unaware by the premature end to the first semi-final.
Meanwhile, unseeded Australian junior James Duckworth has continued his excellent run at the French Open by dismissing third seed Gianni Mina 6-3 6-4 in the boys' singles.
The Sydneysider did not have his serve broken during the entire match and took his opportunities to close out the quarter-final in 77 minutes.
He will meet Argentina's Agustin Velotti in the semi-finals.
How the Australians fared last night:
Women's singles - semi-final
7- Sam Stosur (Aus) bt 4-Jelena Jankovic (Srb) 6-1 6-2
Boys' singles - quarter-final
James Duckworth (Aus) bt 3-Gianni Mina (Fra) 6-3 6-4
Send your messages of support to Samantha Stosur at the French Open
6月 04, 2010 11:23午前 329 commentsIncrease Text Size Decrease Text Size Print Email Share Add to Digg Add to del.icio.us Add to Facebook Add to Kwoff Add to Myspace Add to Newsvine What are these?
SAMANTHA Stosur is on the brink of becoming the first Australian woman in 30 years to win a grand slam title as she awaits the French Open final.
As she prepares to take on Italian Francesca Schiavone in Paris, she'll have the whole of Australia behind her.
If you're not among the lucky few shouting her on to glory at Roland Garros, you can show your support by sending her a message in the comments box below.
Click here for reports, updates, previews, pictures and video - full coverage of Sam's French Open adventure
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Sid of Sandgate Posted at 11:58 AM June 04, 2010
Good luck Samantha. I have been waiting a long time for a women's champion who looks like a woman!! You don't need lace, grunts or huge muscles to be a great tennis player. You have just what it takes. YOU ROCK SAM!!!
Comment 1 of 329
Peter Sealy Posted at 11:59 AM June 04, 2010
Go, you good thing Sam.
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Ron Collins of Australia Posted at 12:08 PM June 04, 2010
G'day Sam, congratulations on a great Semi-final win over Jelena, great watching it here in Oz. It's easy to say, but just go out & play your normal game & enjoy the Final. All the very best.
Comment 3 of 329
Shelly Mack of Victoria Posted at 12:25 PM June 04, 2010
Best wishes and good luck for Saturdays game. We all know that you have the Aussie spirit and you should know that we are all behind you.
Comment 4 of 329
Geoff Murphy of Malaysia Posted at 12:28 PM June 04, 2010
Well done Sam we are all proud of you, good luck for the final
Comment 5 of 329
earle fordham Posted at 12:32 PM June 04, 2010
hey Sam...well this is the big one...all that hard work,the tought times ...the good times and now its here for you...grab it with both hands and show the world what a champion you have become...but win or lose you have done australia proud..well done...go Sam! earle
Comment 6 of 329
Navin A of Melbourne Posted at 12:35 PM June 04, 2010
Excellent, well done, I will watch you live lifting the French Open Trophy. Go Stosur Go. Fight. We love you all.
Comment 7 of 329
Laura B of Melbourne Posted at 12:35 PM June 04, 2010
Go Girl! You deserve the win. I have watched you and how much you have been working. Bring home the title.
Comment 8 of 329
Pete of Geelong Posted at 12:36 PM June 04, 2010
Go Girl - very proud to be an Australian
Comment 9 of 329
Rocket of Albury Posted at 12:39 PM June 04, 2010
Go girl, show them you can do it
Comment 10 of 329
G Ma of wallan Posted at 12:40 PM June 04, 2010
You go girl. Good luck All the best.
Comment 11 of 329
Geoff of Bendigo of Bendigo Posted at 12:41 PM June 04, 2010
Go Get 'em Sam your destiny has arrived and many more Slams can come your way as you are a great athlete and sportwoman
Comment 12 of 329
Ben Williams of Perth Posted at 12:42 PM June 04, 2010
Congratulations Sam. You played fantastic tennis and really seemed to be enjoying it. Saviour the moment, absorb the atmosphere and win. Sounds simple and it is. You have the game and now (very much so) the confidence. Do yourself proud and all of us very proud Australians cheering you on at home. All the very best.
Comment 13 of 329
Elise Casamento of Australia Posted at 12:45 PM June 04, 2010
sam you are a legend :) everyone at my school has been following all your games the past week and we were all cheering in the corridor this morning when we all got together :) good luck for tomorrow and no matter what happens, you have done all us aussies proud
Comment 14 of 329
Erin Hollis of Melbourne Posted at 12:45 PM June 04, 2010
No doubt a thousand people are telling you the same thing - but your modest nature and gutsy performances are a true inspiration and make your country proud to call you ours! It's not about winning, it's about proving to yourself that you are one of, if not the THE, best female tennis players going round. I am in awe of your determination and am simply enjoying watching each game of yours unfold. Well done Sam - your deserve all the success that is coming your way!
Comment 15 of 329
John of Melbourne Posted at 12:46 PM June 04, 2010
Sam, all the very best against Francesca, go out there and play your natural game and you will be holding the trophy after the match!!!!!
Comment 16 of 329
Nazario Alvarez of Dandenong Posted at 12:46 PM June 04, 2010
she will do it for all of us Australians...go Sam go,your next job is 2b PM of Australia...oooohhhh....at laaassttt...
Comment 17 of 329
Jeff of Mininera Posted at 12:47 PM June 04, 2010
Will you marry me?
Comment 18 of 329
nola & steve whitmore of melbourne Posted at 12:47 PM June 04, 2010
congratulations sammy, i have been a dedicated supporter of yours for years. I have watched you grow over the years into a sensational tennis player. you deserve this glory and chance to win your first french open. So i will wish you good luck and i will be watching you and supporting you all the way. You have done yourself and australia proud by just achieving this result. It will be a bigger bonus if you win but if not dont be sad as you have already achieved a great result. Once again the best of luck and play well.
Comment 19 of 329
Gloria of CBD Posted at 12:51 PM June 04, 2010
Good on You Sam, just loved your win over over Serena (wow, wow, wow) and of course Jelena. Go Girl, all good wishes for the final, we are all barracking for you.
Comment 20 of 329
Go Sam Posted at 12:52 PM June 04, 2010
Good on you Sam! What a champion. All the best.
Comment 21 of 329
Cathy Nash of Melbourne Posted at 12:52 PM June 04, 2010
Hi Sam, It is soooo great staying up to watch you play so well even though we are not getting any sleep.!!!! One to go - you can do it!! cheers
Comment 22 of 329
Shell Posted at 12:53 PM June 04, 2010
Go Sam! The title is yours! Bring it home !!
Comment 23 of 329
Janaya Smith of Hobart Posted at 12:59 PM June 04, 2010
CMON SAM WE KNOW YOU CAN DO IT -JUST PLAY YOUR GAME AND EVERYTHING WILL OK GO SAM GO the smiffs in Kingston
Comment 24 of 329
Kasha of Melbourne Posted at 1:00 PM June 04, 2010
I'm so excited for you Sam. What an effort just to make the final and a dream come true if you could win. Good luck and enjoy.
Comment 25 of 329
Matty T of Cairns Posted at 1:00 PM June 04, 2010
Sam, fantastic effort on reaching your first grand slam final. There is still much hard work to do so keep your head down and stay focused. Once you hit the court, relax as quickly as you can and enjoy the occasion for what it is and win that title. Good luck and all the best.
Comment 26 of 329
Jeremy of Melbourne Posted at 1:02 PM June 04, 2010
Good luck Sam!! Hope you bring back a French Open trophy but irrespective of that I think it's safe to say you've already made every Aussie tennis fan proud.
Comment 27 of 329
Lynchy Posted at 1:03 PM June 04, 2010
You're a true inspiration Sam. I'm a 36 year old bloke who is an occassional tennis viewer but I'm right behind you in your quest to win your first Grand Slam. I can't believe that its been 37 years between drinks for our Aussie women. You thorougly deserve this, now go out and take what's yours.
Comment 28 of 329
JANE CAIRNS of TOWNSVILLE Posted at 1:03 PM June 04, 2010
HI SAM, BEEN WATCHING YOU ALL THE WAY.... KEEP IT GOING GIRL! EVERYONE IS SO PROUD OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS. WHATEVER HAPPENS, ENJOY THE RIDE.
Comment 29 of 329
Telstar of Melbourne Posted at 1:03 PM June 04, 2010
You can do it Sam! Hardwork done now...Keep the Foot to the Pedal and the rest will take care of itself....Goodluck!
Comment 30 of 329
Pieter Kleynjan of Wells Crossing NSW 2460 Posted at 1:03 PM June 04, 2010
Onya Sam. You were magnificent. You'll be great in the final and hopefully after that you'll make it a "Sam slam" by winning the US and Australian Open and Wimbledon. Go our sam we're proud of you.
Comment 31 of 329
Peter of Mildura Posted at 1:03 PM June 04, 2010
Keep the great work Sam. All the Best for the final. We're all behind you.
Comment 32 of 329
Gates of Bulleen Posted at 1:04 PM June 04, 2010
Go Sammy, Get some revenge back for the Socceroos four years ago. With you, The Matlidas and hopefully the socceroos let's make it a great year for Australian sport. Good luck and no matter the result you have done your familyand yourself proud. you are vredit to this nation and your family.
Comment 33 of 329
PA & BJ Modda Posted at 1:06 PM June 04, 2010
Well done doing both yourself & Aussie well have been waiting for this for some time Good Luck for a solid carreer
Comment 34 of 329
Sriram of Melbourne Posted at 1:07 PM June 04, 2010
Sam, What an inspirational performance. We are very proud of you. Afer a long time, many of us would be watching a Grand slam final with Aussie flag flying high at our front yard. Good luck Sam. Just play your natural game and that is good enough to beat the world
Comment 35 of 329
Gigi of Melbourne Posted at 1:07 PM June 04, 2010
Sam, congratulations! You have put all the hard work in, now it is your turn to shine on the international stage! You'll Win your first Grand Slam tomorrow! We are proud and happy for you, the nation sends their full support! This is great news!
Comment 36 of 329
The Rat in Sydney of Sydney Posted at 1:09 PM June 04, 2010
What an inspiration you are to all Australians in these tough times. Best of luck, show the world we are still a great tennis nation.
Comment 37 of 329
Tam Pritchard of sydney Posted at 1:10 PM June 04, 2010
BEST OF LUCK & HOPE U GO ALL THE WAY.....CONGRATULATIONS
Comment 38 of 329
bob peto of far north N S W Posted at 1:10 PM June 04, 2010
GO SAM i am 69yo but i feel like 21 =am so happy to see you in the final,, just take a deep breath and play like you have been and i can go to bed tomorrow night a happy man after watching you hold the winners trophy aloft = best wishes
Comment 39 of 329
Robyn J of Chelsea Posted at 1:13 PM June 04, 2010
Congratulations on reaching the Final Sam. Win or lose in the next round, you have done yourself and your country proud. You conduct yourself impeccably both on and offthe court and deserve all the success you get. I'll be hitting every shot with you during the Final!! Good luck.
Comment 40 of 329
Jaye Posted at 1:14 PM June 04, 2010
Keep up the good work Sam you are doing us all proud. We will be cheering from afar for you. You go girl!!!
Comment 41 of 329
Dazza of Campbellfield. Posted at 1:14 PM June 04, 2010
Go Sam. You WILL win this . You have all us Geelongians supporting. Go Sam..
Comment 42 of 329
Lorraine of Melbourne Posted at 1:17 PM June 04, 2010
Fanbloodytastic Sam! We know you can do it! Bring home the title for Australia and show the world they have an Aussie to fear at Wimbledon! Just play your natural game because all of Australia is backing you! Go Sam go! Aussie, Aussie ,Aussie Oi Oi Oi!
Comment 43 of 329
Billy of Bendigo Posted at 1:18 PM June 04, 2010
Go Sam!!! You know were proud of you!! Bring it home
Comment 44 of 329
Jacksons of Langwarrin Posted at 1:19 PM June 04, 2010
GO SAM GO!!! What an awesome effort. We're sending positive vibes your way! Great job.
Comment 45 of 329
Sam of Melbourne Posted at 1:19 PM June 04, 2010
I hope she's reading this today. WE (AUSTRALIA) ARE RIGHT BEHIND YOU ... YOU MAKE US (WOMEN) VERY PROUD. GOOD LUCK SAM!
Comment 46 of 329
Gill Thomas of Moorabbin Vic Posted at 1:20 PM June 04, 2010
So proud of your achievements - strength to stength - now for the cream grrrl!!!
Comment 47 of 329
Aussie Aussie Aussie Posted at 1:23 PM June 04, 2010
Not much into tennis, but if there is an Aussie playing I will definitely be barracking. Go Sam you've done the hard yards, now reap the rewards
Comment 48 of 329
Shaun Richardson of Newcastle Posted at 1:24 PM June 04, 2010
We love you Sam. Every Aussie is behind you and we know you have what it takes to win a GS
Comment 49 of 329
Bev, Wahgunyah Posted at 1:24 PM June 04, 2010
You have worked sooo hard for this Sam,our thoughts and prayers are with you. Show the world the Aussie Spirit.
Comment 50 of 329
Clare Lacey Posted at 1:25 PM June 04, 2010
Congratulations on your outstanding effort in reaching the finals. Will be sitting up late to barrack and will you on to a great win. Clare of Melbourne
Comment 51 of 329
Di Posted at 1:28 PM June 04, 2010
Great work Sam. You can do it. We love watching you play at the Australian Open every year.
Comment 52 of 329
Lowrie Family Posted at 1:31 PM June 04, 2010
Go for it Sam! You have been fantastic. One more win to go! We'll be cheering!
Comment 53 of 329
Kate of Sandringham Posted at 1:32 PM June 04, 2010
All the best Sam for the french open. Every-one back here in Australia will be cheering for you. Saviour the moment and enjoy the game and everything will fall into place.
Comment 54 of 329
DesmondSee Posted at 1:35 PM June 04, 2010
Sam...i know and heard better of the players you had beaten,but now,not only me,everyone will notice you better...to beat Henin,Serena and Jelena shows you are on a roll.. All the very best of luck to you,go win it !!
Comment 55 of 329
RG of FTG Posted at 1:35 PM June 04, 2010
Your a winner Sam...YOU GO GIRL!!! the whole of Australia will be supporting you.Congratulations on making it to the final. Best Wishes and the very Best Of Luck....
Comment 56 of 329
Ann Gruber of USA Posted at 1:35 PM June 04, 2010
Samantha ... I have been rooting for you and Molik (I am American who loved Australia when I visited it) for a few years now ... Just DO IT!!!!
Comment 57 of 329
josh Posted at 1:38 PM June 04, 2010
Come On Sam you can do it, were all cheering for you back here in Australia!!!
Comment 58 of 329
Suat Sevilgen of melbourne Posted at 1:39 PM June 04, 2010
Lets go Samantha, You are playing like a true champion, you are a joy to watch, and your performances are very inspiring to the rest of us back home in australia. Im sure you can go all the way, continue to believe in yourself and play with the confidence you have shown over the past two weeks. Australia will be supporting you back home. C'MON SAMANTHA...You can do it
Comment 59 of 329
Bronwen Williams of Watsonia Posted at 1:39 PM June 04, 2010
Hi Sam, you have been playing magnificently. You deserve this title and I will have another late night to watch you win. You can do it!!!! God bless
Comment 60 of 329
geejay of Smithfield, Qld. Posted at 1:40 PM June 04, 2010
Win or lose the final, Stosur has proven she has the ability and courage to beat the best in the world. She is absolutely a credit to Australia, the game and herself. No wonder the hard-to-please French have taken to her.
Comment 61 of 329
Michael Crofts Posted at 1:45 PM June 04, 2010
Great performance Sam you will bring home the bacon
Comment 62 of 329
Catherine Posted at 1:45 PM June 04, 2010
Come on Sam one more game to go. You have beaten the best to get to the final. You can do it. Just player like you have against your last 3 opponents. All of Australia are behind you. You can do it!
Comment 63 of 329
Katie of Melbourne Posted at 1:46 PM June 04, 2010
Sam, I have watched you play in this tournament, and I know you can do it. Apart from all the aussie sporting fans in general that will be cheering for you, you will also have the mums and dads of aspiring young tennis players in this country cheering you on as well. You have come this far and have shown to all the tennis youngsters that yes, aussies can match it with the world.You are an inspiration, and this one will be yours.
Comment 64 of 329
Seby of Clifton Hill Posted at 1:47 PM June 04, 2010
Fantastic work Sam! You deserve to win French open and be in the rank 1.
Comment 65 of 329
Rob and Cheryl Webster Posted at 1:48 PM June 04, 2010
Very Proud of you Sam, Go get that title you deserve young lady.All the best from Rob and Cheryl Perth WA
Comment 66 of 329
Koula of Melb Posted at 1:49 PM June 04, 2010
YOU GO GIRL...you deserve it, you own it......but most of all, enjoy the ride...don't let anyone get you down, you have achieved a lot in this tournament, your a winning in all our eyes....
Comment 67 of 329
cc Posted at 1:49 PM June 04, 2010
You can go all the way Sam, well done!
Comment 68 of 329
Yvonne of Croydon Posted at 1:50 PM June 04, 2010
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!!!! Go Sam, continue the way you have been playing and the title will be yours. I am one very proud Aussie!!!
Comment 69 of 329
gers of melbournia Posted at 1:52 PM June 04, 2010
Comment 70 of 329
Chaz Posted at 1:53 PM June 04, 2010
We will be proud of you will or lose. All the best. Go Aussie!
Comment 71 of 329
Lollie Power of Los Angeles Posted at 1:53 PM June 04, 2010
Go Sam, you can do it!! You are my hero! Can't wait to have a beer with you, Love Lollie Power in LA
Comment 72 of 329
Barry Brown of melbourne Posted at 1:54 PM June 04, 2010
Hi Sam Go girl will still love you whatever the outcome.
Comment 73 of 329
Tania of Melbourne Posted at 1:58 PM June 04, 2010
I was a doubter but after watching her in these matches all I can say is GO SAM YOU DESERVE IT.
Comment 74 of 329
Tina of Perth Posted at 2:00 PM June 04, 2010
GO SAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 more to go! Keep playing aggressive tennis as you have been and you will do well :) Bring it home Sam!!!
Comment 75 of 329
K of Burwood Posted at 2:03 PM June 04, 2010
We will be hitting every shot with you Sam! You are a champion and a great ambassador for the sport. Bonne chance Sam! It's yours.
Comment 76 of 329
Andrew Posted at 2:05 PM June 04, 2010
Hi Sam, Stay focused, there's one more match to go! Your playing fantastic, you can do it!! Go Sam :)
Comment 77 of 329
DB Posted at 2:06 PM June 04, 2010
Good luck Sam - finish the journey! You deserve it!
Comment 78 of 329
Holzy Posted at 2:10 PM June 04, 2010
Hey sam :) good luck for tonight from hols and steph
Comment 79 of 329
Daniel of Melbourne Posted at 2:12 PM June 04, 2010
Go Sammy. Doing Australia proud! We're all behind you back here in OZ!
Comment 80 of 329
Bronwen Williams of Watsonia Posted at 2:12 PM June 04, 2010
You have been playing brilliantly Sam, worth late nights. The title is yours to take and I am sure YOU can do it!!!!! Best wishes
Comment 81 of 329
Sen of Point Cook, Melbourne Posted at 2:16 PM June 04, 2010
Go Sam !!!! You can do it....No matter what is the outcome....We Australians are proud of you.....
Comment 82 of 329
Shafee JainuDeen of Brisbane,Australia Posted at 2:16 PM June 04, 2010
Sam has been a quiet achiever. Great individual performance which has to be recognized by all in Australia. Whatever the outcome RED CARPET on arrival. GFI tomorrow night.
Comment 83 of 329
Missy of Carrum Posted at 2:17 PM June 04, 2010
Bring it home Sam! Good luck and I'm sure you'll play your absolute best!!!
Comment 84 of 329
Poly Vengsarkar of Queensland Posted at 2:17 PM June 04, 2010
Comment 85 of 329
Awesome Aussie Posted at 2:20 PM June 04, 2010
All the way now Sam. your'e focussed and switched on,just one more girl. Bring it back home.success is yours. i'll be watching every hit.Good luck now.
Comment 86 of 329
joseph siniska of sydney Posted at 2:29 PM June 04, 2010
play it again sam.....win or lose you have done australia proud.like the french would say..."bonne chance" which means good luck in the finals...
Comment 87 of 329
Elise of Victoria Posted at 2:30 PM June 04, 2010
Kick It Sam!! You can do it! We are all watching you back here in Aus and know you are the best!
Comment 88 of 329
Melanie of Preston Posted at 2:32 PM June 04, 2010
Giddy-up Sammy! Let's go for the throat and bring home the trophy - everyone in Australia is cheering you on. Best of luck.
Comment 89 of 329
Maddy M Posted at 2:32 PM June 04, 2010
Go Sam, the French Open title is yours. The whole of Australia is behind you. We know you can do it! We are already proud of you for coming this far. One final step to seal the victory! Go SAM!
Comment 90 of 329
R-ACT Posted at 2:36 PM June 04, 2010
Go SAMIE oi oi oi make us Aussie proud girl - go girl we are rooty for you!!!!!!!! You CAN do it Babe we want to see you win!!!
Comment 91 of 329
Andrew Gillies of Bordertown Posted at 2:36 PM June 04, 2010
everyone is very proud of you .You will do it go Sam Andy Bordertown
Comment 92 of 329
maidie low of qld Posted at 2:42 PM June 04, 2010
Comment 93 of 329
harvey coad Posted at 2:44 PM June 04, 2010
Well done sam but the job needs to be completed on saturday stay focused just think of all the hard training that you have done to get you there and with the eye of the tiger bring it home to aussie regards harv working in nigeria
Comment 94 of 329
GARY of ALBURY Posted at 2:44 PM June 04, 2010
WELL DONE SO FAR SAM, GOOD LUCK IN THE FINAL.HAVE FUN
Comment 95 of 329
Ruth Posted at 2:48 PM June 04, 2010
GO Sam. All your hard work is paying off.Do Australia proud and more importantly, yourself and those you love and have supported you in your endeavours.We are so proud of you.
Comment 96 of 329
joe of Melbourne Posted at 2:51 PM June 04, 2010
Sam - I have long watched you and believed you had in you a champion - regardless of what happen on Saturday you are already a champion - having beat two chicks i dont love and the way you did it - was awesome...so very proud of you...worth getting no sleep over - good luck - Australia is behind you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment 97 of 329
JC of Melbourne Posted at 2:52 PM June 04, 2010
Well done Sam. Will be cheering for you. You can do it.
Comment 98 of 329
Alex of Albert Park Posted at 2:53 PM June 04, 2010
Fantastic achieavement! You desevere this after all those years of hard work!!! Will be watching and supporting you for sure...
Comment 99 of 329
Tennis fan Posted at 2:54 PM June 04, 2010
Sam, Good luck in the grand final. I will be watching you and cheering you on from my arm chair in the lounge room. You have done yourself and family proud. best wishes Pam
Comment 100 of 329
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