Sam Stosur

  • Full name Sam Stosur
  • Birth date March 30, 1984
  • Birth place Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • Current age 34 years 256 days
  • Height 5 ft 7 in
  • Weight 143 lb
Queenslanders Sam Stosur and Pat Rafter announce the Rally for Relief

2010 might have been Sam Stosur's breakout year, but in truth it has been a decade of steady improvement that has elevated the Australian into the world's top ten.

Ending 2000 an unremarkable 682nd in the world rankings, Stosur has slowly established herself as both a singles and doubles player of some repute over the ensuing ten years. Indeed, her world ranking has improved year-on-year throughout her career (to a high of five during 2010), baring an injury-ravaged period from the end of 2007 to the middle of 2008 where she struggled with the career-threatening effects of Lyme's disease.

Prior to 2007 she had been predominantly known as a doubles player, striking up profitable partnerships with the American Lisa Raymond and fellow Australian Robin Draper that would yield two grand slam titles apiece. The first of those came in 2005 with Draper, an emotional home success at the Australian Open, and three more would follow over the next few years - along with numerous near misses.

Around 2007 Stosur's priorities would change, however, as she increasingly focused on making a name for herself as a singles player. That year she would show some signs of improvement, reaching the third round of the French Open (at that time her best grand slam result outside her home event), but it wasn't until she was fully recovered from illness that her quality began to shine through.

A powerful player - likened to a man by a handful of opponents and pundits, to some controversy - Stosur has worked hard to eliminate the unforced errors from her game that characterised some of her early performances. Having added a backhand slice to her already powerful serve and adept volley game (a throwback to her doubles past).

In 2009 she reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros, and a year later she beat former world No. 1s Justine Henin, Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams on the way to the final in Paris. As seventh seed she was then heavily favoured to beat the unheralded Italian Francesca Schiavone, but nerves got the better of her and she lost in straight sets - being edged out in a tense second set tiebreak that sealed the tournament.

But she had learnt her lesson, and when she had a second bite at the cherry in the Big Apple, she showed no signs of nerves - overpowering Serena Williams in straight sets to win the 2011 US Open.

But as with French Open winner Li Na and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, also first-time major winners in 2011, Stosur suffered a post-major slump, and crashed out in the opening round of the Australian Open, her home event.

Career high
Winning her first grand slam title, overpowering former world No. 1 and three-time champion Serena Williams in straight sets in the 2011 US Open final.

Career low
Contracting Lyme's disease during the middle of the 2007 season temporarily derailed what had been until then an inexorable rise up the rankings. Stosur now counts the ticks that carry the disease among her biggest fears (along with flying).

"The whole time I was doing well in doubles I was always playing singles and trying to improve that side of my tennis. I had just done a lot better in doubles up until that point. I guess having the illness and being away from the game maybe scared me a little bit to think, 'Okay, I've got to go out there and play and really try and achieve what I've wanted to'. It wasn't an easy decision. But I had to take the chance, and I think it's definitely paid off."

"I give her a chance [to win a grand slam] for sure, with that firepower off both sides and serving well. There is no one who she would be scared of." Former Australian doubles star Wayne Arthurs.

During her formative years on tour, Stosur would keep blankets from hotels and pillows from flights for continued use as she moved from event to event. On one occasion she also slept in a train station with a number of other players prior to a tournament in Japan.


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May 28, 2013

Sam Stosur celebrates her win

Feb 20, 2013

Sam Stosur goes up for a smash

Jan 16, 2013

Sam Stosur waves goodbye to fans following her defeat

Jan 14, 2013

Sam Stosur powers down a serve

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