U.S. Open: Samantha Stosur into final
Samantha Stosur, who had previously played the longest tiebreaker in women’s major tournament history at the U.S. Open and won the longest women’s match time-wise in U.S. Open history, on Saturday advanced to her first major tournament final.
Ninth-seeded Stosur, a 27-year-old from Australia, beat 92nd-ranked Angelique Kerber of Germany, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
Stosur will play the winner of the second semifinal between top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and 28th-seeded and three-time Open champion Serena Williams.
Kerber, 23, was in her first Grand Slam tournament semifinal and only the fourth semifinal of any type. Until coming to New York, Kerber, from Germany, had lost in the first round of the last four majors she played and was trying to become the fifth-lowest ranked Grand Slam finalist in the open era of tennis. Four of them were Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin and Serena Williams, all of whom had major wins on their resumes and were low-ranked because of retirements, injuries or pregnancies.
Stosur, who played in the 2010 French Open final, rushed to a 4-0 lead after only 18 minutes of the third set, asserting herself with her willingness to come forward. Overall, Stosur won 27 of 29 points at the net as Kerber sprayed shots long and wide, perhaps evidence of nerves.
The match was played on the Grandstand Court, the third-largest of the show courts at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. Because of lengthy rain delays during the week and water damage that shut down Louis Armstrong Stadium, schedules put Stosur and Kerber on the smaller court because the two men’s semifinals were put on Arthur Ashe Stadium along with the Williams-Wozniacki semifinal.
Stosur's only moment of uncertainty in the final set came when she was up 5-0 and had the chance to serve out the match. Stosur committed three unforced errors and was broken, and then lost two straight games. But finally, on her second match point, Stosur smashed a backhand volley emphatically past Kerber.
-- Diane Pucin, reporting from New York
Photo: Samantha Stosur hits a return to Angelique Kerber during their semifinal match Saturday. Credit: John G. Mabanglo / EPA