Sto­sur cap­tures 500th ca­reer sin­gles win

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JIM SLATER

Aus­tralia’s Sa­man­tha Sto­sur, the 2011 U. S. Open cham­pion, won her 500th ca­reer sin­gles match vic­tory Tues­day, de­feat­ing France’s Kristina Mlade­n­ovic 6-2, 6-2 at the WTA and ATP Washington Open.

The 31-year-old sec­ond seed from Bris­bane needed only 64 min­utes to im­prove to 4-0 against Mlade­n­ovic and book a sec­on­dround date with Amer­i­can Irina Fal­coni.

“My serve set me up. There weren’t a lot of long ral­lies. Bing. Bang. It was over,” said Sto­sur, who had no clue about the land­mark win to­tal un­til well af­ter the vic­tory.

“Now that I know, (feels) re­ally good,” Sto­sur said of her mile­stone tri­umph. “Five hun­dred is a lot of matches. Nice to make that and know you have had a pretty big ca­reer.”

The top Aussie on the all-time women’s match win list is Evonne Goolagong Caw­ley with 695.

In pon­der­ing her all-time top tri­umphs, Sto­sur went di­rectly to her Grand Slam ti­tle run, which she won by de­feat­ing cur­rent world num­ber one and 21-time Grand Slam cham­pion Ser­ena Wil­liams 6- 2, 6-3 in the fi­nal four years ago at Flush­ing Mead­ows.

But also draw­ing her at­ten­tion was a three-set U.S. Open semi-fi­nal win over Ger­many’s An­gelique Ker­ber, a three-set thriller over Rus­sian Maria Kir­ilenko in the round of 16 and a third-rounder over Na­dia Petrova she took 7-5 in the third af­ter split­ting two tiebreak­ers.

“Ob­vi­ously the U.S. Open has been the high­light, not just the fi­nal -- a cou­ple matches in there were re­ally tight,” Sto­sur said. “And maybe the first time I won a fi­nal back in Osaka.

That Osaka ti­tle came in 2009 with a fi­nals win over Italy’s Francesca Schi­avone and af­ter Sto­sur had re­cov­ered from Lyme dis­ease, which side­lined her for parts of the 2007 and 2008 cam­paigns.

“A few matches I lost have been mem­o­rable,” she said. “There have been a lot of great mo­ments. I’ve had those highs along the way and lows as well.”

Sto­sur, ranked 21st, is com­ing off her sec­ond ti­tle of the year, and the eighth of her ca­reer, on the Aus­trian clay at Bad Gastein.

“It’s a nice feel­ing to play well in those mo­ments, in the fi­nals,” Sto­sur said. “Win­ning tour­na­ments, wher­ever they are, gives you a boost.”

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