Samantha Stosur was in irresistible form as she beat top seed Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-3 to win the Southern California Open in Carlsbad.
Amazingly this was the Australian’s first tournament win since defeating Serena Williams to lift the US Open back in 2011, and only the fourth title of her career.
Her opponent Victoria Azarenka just never got going, and couldn’t get a grip on the match at any stage.
Overall the Belarusian can be pleased with her week’s work considering this was her return from the injury sustained at Wimbledon back in June, but she’ll want to forget this performance, as she was completely
Having broken back at the first time of asking at 2-0 in the first set, Azarenka then let her serve slip again as Stosur went on to convert all three of her break points in the first set.
This was in stark contrast to Azarenka, who just couldn’t grasp the opportunities she made for herself. Stosur dominated the big points, managing to claw her way out of trouble when she needed to.
The second set followed a similar pattern to the first, as Azarenka struggled to control her serve, hitting seven double faults in the match, and disappointingly, only hitting one ace.
Stosur had never beaten Azarenka in their eight previous meetings but at last she was able to break her duck against the world number three, but it could have all been different had her opponent been able to convert more of her break points.
As it happened, Azarenka converted just one of her twelve break points. Stosur however, was far more prudent in this regard, converting four of her five break points as she came up trumps when it mattered.
Stosur defeated Sesil Karatantcheva, Agnieszka Radwanska and Virginie Razzano on her route to the final. After this impressive performance, there is no reason why she can’t regain her US Open crown if she can keep up this kind of form. Obviously Serena Williams would have something to say about that.
Despite this defeat, Azarenka climbs above Maria Sharapova to world number two, whilst Stosur, who had had a relatively indifferent year up to this point, climbs up to just outside the top 10 to 11th.
Victoria Azarenka will hope that this performance was just a blip, whereas Sam Stosur will know she must keep up this kind of form if she wants to challenge for Grand Slams again. But can Stosur still mount a challenge on the world’s biggest stages?
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