Tennis Identity

A Sigh And A Cheer For Sam Stosur

A lot was on the line. Tennis is always about lines and today the line is between two players who are also compatriots. Sam Stosur, the Australian #1 for the last eight years, was playing the pocket-sized Daria Gavrilova. Gavrilova could become Australian #1 if she wins today.

Stosur hasn’t won a title since 2015, although she did make the Prague final last year and lost to Lucy Safarova. She so needs another title and the Internationaux de Strasbourg could be it, giving her a timely boost ahead of Roland Garros.

I have to confess to always becoming frustrated when watching Sam Stosur. She can be explosive off the ground, and has a whipping forehand. She looks built to last and has one of the best kick serves in the game. It’s just that she seldom puts its all together. Bad shot selections are pretty much never far away.

In the first set she started slowly and was soon down 3-1. She can be a slow starter and when she got into gear, she was able to get to 4-4 and then she was soon up 5-4 and surely the set would be hers. But this is Sam Stosur. Some poor shot selection made it easy for Gavrilova to hold and at 5-5, I felt a sense of foreboding. Gavrilova was able to break Stosur and serve for the first set 7-5.

In the second Stosur renewed her intensity and had break point chances for a 3-1 lead, but yet again failed to capitalise. Two games all and Gavrilova opts for a change of weapon with a new racquet. This is now her second career final. She dropped her first final and she looks determined not to have the same misfortune today. Eventually, Stosur would win the event for the second time.

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