The Courier-Mail

Grand plans may get slammed says Sam

- ANNA CALD­WELL

SAM Sto­sur – the last player to beat Ser­ena Wil­liams in New York – has warned the world No.1 won’t be im­mune to crip­pling nerves and pres­sure in her bid for a cal­en­dar year Grand Slam.

It’s been four years since Sto­sur de­feated Wil­liams in the US Open fi­nal, and Wil­liams has won ev­ery sin­gles match she has played at Flush­ing Mead­ows since.

But Sto­sur said Wil­liams would feel the jit­ters as she at­tempts to be­come the first player since 1988 to win all four Grand Slam tour­na­ments in the same year.

Wil­liams opens her ti­tle de­fence to­day on cen­tre court against Rus­sia’s Vi­talia Di­atchenko.

“It’s not an easy thing to achieve and that’s why it very rarely hap­pens,” Sto­sur said.

“She’s not im­mune to nerves and pres­sure and ev­ery­thing that’s go­ing to come along with it.”

It would be “hard to back against” Wil­liams, but she said pres­sure was a given.

Wil­liams would be­come the sixth player ever to achieve such a feat.

Her hopes re­ceived a boost yesterday when No.3 seed Maria Shara­pova with­drew be­cause of in­jury.

Wil­liams said she wasn’t feel­ing pres­sure yet, but con­ceded it could creep in.

“If I make it far, maybe I’ll start to feel pres­sure,” she said.

Four­teen Aus­tralians take to the court at Flush­ing Mead­ows over two days for round one of the Open.

Sto­sur’s first-round op­po­nent, Timea Ba­bos, dealt the world No.22 her most re­cent de­feat at the Cincinnati Mas­ters. Sto­sur said she still felt con­fi­dent, adding that Flush­ing Mead­ows held such fond mem­o­ries for her af­ter her 2011 fi­nal win over Wil­liams.

 ??  ?? PRES­SURE: Sam Sto­sur
PRES­SURE: Sam Sto­sur

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia