Thirty-five is the new 22, judging by Samantha Stosur’s boilover victory over former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber at the Brisbane International.
The match started in the fashion that might have been expected, as Stosur went down 5 – 1 in the first set before she gained the belief that she would not exit early, as she has done in her home event over the past seven years.
Stosur staged a comeback to win the first set in a tiebreak and the second set in the same manner, leaving the score at 7 – 6 (7 – 5) and 7 – 6 (7 – 4) for a win she would later describe as her best in Brisbane.
Stosur has been a fixture in women’s professional tennis for many years, with her top win coming in the 2011 U.S. Open.
Her top results have all come in doubles, where she lacks only a Wimbledon title to complete a career-slam in doubles. She has made the finals at The Championships three times, while she has won doubles at the Australian Open last year, the French Open in 2006 and the U.S. Open in 2005.
Longevity such as this is rare in any sports code and rarer still in tennis, where the twisting, sudden starts and stops and the all-out effort required from almost every point often extracts a toll in the form of niggling and major injuries.
It is hard to predict how far she will go in Brisbane. She plays doubles next with partner Ellen Perez and it looks to be a tight match with Yang Zhaoxuan and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
Stosur’s next single match will be with the winner of the match between eighth seed Madison Keyes and Marie Bouzkova, which would seem to indicate Keyes as the next opponent, but if Stosur could beat the No. 4 seeded Kerber from her wild card berth, it would not be inconceivable that Bouzkova could beat Keyes.