It has been 20 years since Samantha Stosur first played in the Australian Open Tennis tournament and to say that is has been a tumultuous ride, is putting it mildly.
The former Australian No. 1, who only missed the tournament in 2008, has battled to find success in the Singles draw, having only reached the fourth round twice, in 2006 and 2010.
The Ladies and Mixed Doubles draws have certainly been more kind to her at her home Grand Slam.
Ladies Doubles – in 2006, she partnered with Lisa Raymond and were finalists. In 2019, she and Zhang Shuai won the title.
Mixed Doubles – in 2005, she partnered with Scott Draper to win the title and was a finalist with Matthew Ebden in 2021.
Time to bow out as motherhood awaits
In 2019, Stosur added her close friend and former No.1 multiple Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion, ESPN commentator, coach and Racquet Magazine podcast host, Rennae Stubbs to her coaching team. Stubbs, who currently excels as a commentator, coach and tennis analyst has certainly added value to the Stosur game (and no doubt a lot of comedy too).
A lot has happened since the onset of Covid-19 in 2020, with Stosur already battling some injury niggles.
When her partner, Liz Astling gave birth to their daughter, Genevieve (Evie) Stosur on 16 June 2020, Stosur, who turned pro in 1999, decided that it was time to make some career decisions and at the end of last year, confirmed that this would be her last appearance in the Singles draw and that she will continue to play Doubles for the remainder of 2022.
Stosur enjoying the ride
The 37 year old received a Singles wildcard from Tennis Australia and today, faced the 28 year old American, Robin Anderson on the Show Court Arena. With a limited number of spectators allowed, who arrived to support their local favourite maybe one last time, Stosur, who has not reached the second round since 2015, managed to battle past her opponent with a 6-7(7) 6-3 6-3 win, setting up a second round match against her friend and former doubles partner, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Thursday.
During the media press conference, Stosur said she felt that she was playing with a bit more freedom and enjoying her time out there. Watch the full interview on www.https://ausopen.com/news
Tomorrow, Stosur and Zhang Shuai, who are seeded fourth, will face the unseeded Miyo Kato and Sabrina Santamaria in their first round Doubles match.
One certainly hopes that Sam Stosur can bow out of the Australian Open on a high note.