Samantha Stosur
Samantha Stosur returns a shot to Serena Williams during the women’s championship match at the US Open tennis tournament in New York. AP
SAMANTHA Stosur became Australia’s first female grand slam singles champion in 31 years when she pulled off a stunning upset over American Serena Williams at today’s US Open final.

Stosur produced the match of her life against a nervous Williams to win 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 13 minutes in front of 23,000 people on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The result made her Australia’s first female grand slam champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley secured her second Wimbledon title in 1980.

It was the first time the nation had claimed the women’s singles crown at the tournament since Margaret Court Smith in 1973.
 

Stosur said: “I think I had one of my best days.
“I guess I’m very fortunate to have been able to do it on this stage in New York, where I’ve always loved to play, so thanks everyone
“Ever since I started playing and knew what a grand slam was, it’s sort of a dream of mine to play (in one).
“I don’t really know what to say, and how I’m feeling
“I do want to say, Serena you are obviously a fantastic player and a great champion. You’ve done wonders for our sport,so thank you
“From the messages I was getting, lots of people were getting up early and watching and so thanks everyone back home for supporting me.
“All my friends and all my family and everyone else, thanks so much for supporting me all the time, not just today, but forever.
I look forward to coming back home.”
The composure Stosur showed in capturing her maiden grand slam revived memories of Lleyton Hewitt’s win in the final on the very same court against Pete Sampras a decade ago.

But the match was not without controversy, with Williams berating the chair umpire after receiving a one-point penalty for verbal hindrance.

The 13-time grand slam champion walked out onto court following emotional September 11 tributes ahead of Stosur, with the players hitting up in light rain.

Fortunately for under-fire officials, it did not last long and play started on time with a calculating Stosur taking advantage of a nervous Williams to capture the first set in 31 minutes.

But the match looked like turning at the end of the opening game of the second set following a controversial decision by the chair umpire.

Williams shouted “come on”” just as Stosur went to hit a ball on the baseline and the chair umpire penalised the American under the hindrance rule.

The decision handed Stosur an early break of serve and it infuriated Williams as she directed some sharp words at the chair umpire.

It also woke up the crowd who booed the decision and a fired-up Williams then broke Stosur’s serve for the first time in the match.

Williams called the chair umpire a “hater”.

“If you ever see me walking down the hall, walk the other way,” she said.

The incident revived memories of Williams’ ugly outburst at a lineswoman during her semi-final loss to Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open.

The incident seemed to rattle Stosur for a couple of games but she held tough and took a break for a 4-3 lead in the second set.

The Queenslander yelled out “Come on”‘ as she took a 5-3 lead before taking the match on her third championship point by ripping a forehand winner.

– AAP