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

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