Stosur Back In Top 10, Serena Awaits In Final
Published August 13, 2011 12:00
TORONTO, Canada - She was evicted from the Top 10 this week, but it didn't take long for her to move her stuff back in. Sam Stosur cemented a rapid return to the elite by making the final of the Rogers Cup on Saturday, snapping the win streak of Agnieszka Radwanska to reach her second final of the year.
Whoever won between No.11 Stosur and No.12 Radwanska would move up to No.10 on the new rankings, and with strong serving and big forehands it was Stosur who came out on top, letting go of the second set but finding her range again in the third to win, 62 57 62. She hit her seventh ace to close it out.
"I played a pretty sloppy game to lose the second set. Getting that early break in the third set was really comforting," Stosur said. "Maybe she felt it was a long way back. I started serving well again and stayed on top of the points."
Stosur had lost her opening matches at her last two events, her only opening round losses all year - having been No.4 in the world just five months ago, she was at No.11 coming in here. Needless to say she was pleased Saturday.
"I'm starting to have things flow again," Stosur said. "I went through a bit of a dip in form at the start of the season, and I wasn't able to feel like I do now. To come here and play this well, whatever happens tomorrow, I'm feeling good.
"I'm No.11 this week. I really wanted to get back in the Top 10, for sure."
Radwanska was on a nine-match winning streak, going 5-0 to win her first title in over three years at Carlsbad last week, then 4-0 to reach the semifinals here. "I was playing better in the second set and was able to break her twice, but then she started serving much better," she said. "It's very hard playing so many matches in a row, especially good matches on a very high level. I was fighting until the end, but it has been a busy three weeks. Anyway, I'm still happy."
Serena Williams snapped up the other berth in the final at night. With her power game in full flow and some fast finishes in both sets, the former No.1 improved to 10-0 in the summer hardcourt season with a 63 63 victory over No.4 seed Victoria Azarenka. Williams won eight of the last 11 points of the first set and 16 of the last 19 points of the second - she also finished the match in style, pummelling a huge crosscourt forehand winner into Azarenka's forehand corner.
"It was important for me to come in and take charge. I didn't have anything to lose," Williams said in her on-court interview. "It's really cool - I came to Toronto just trying to do my best, next thing I know I'm in the final. I haven't really played that much. I love the Toronto crowd. Maybe it's something to do with them!
"I just kind of knew I was playing a really, really good player today and I basically had to step up my game or go to Cincinnati."
Stosur had some very nice words about Williams. "I've had some success against Serena, but we all know what she's capable of. She's obviously one of the best players ever in women's sport. She's a great champion. And for her to have that lay-off and already win an event and do so well, it's full credit to her."
"The last time she played, she got the best of me," Williams said. "She definitely has an opportunity to take it all. She's been playing well. This court suits her game. I have nothing to lose, and I'm happy to have gotten this far. If I take another title that would be great, if not, hey, there's next week."
Williams is 38-14 in WTA finals in her career, Stosur is 2-8.