Stosur Enjoying Every Moment She’s On Court

Matthew Ebden and Samantha Stosur (photo: Natasha Morello/Tennis Australia)

MELBOURNE/WASHINGTON, February 18, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

Australia’s Samantha Stosur has been a fixture on the WTA Tour for the past 20 years. Last June, the 36-year-old Brisbane native, who won the 2011 US Open singles title, has three Grand Slam titles in doubles, and three more in mixed doubles, added the title of first-time mom. She and her partner, Liz, welcomed a baby girl, Genevieve.

This week, Stosur, a former World No. 1 doubles player, has enjoyed a nice run in the Australian Open mixed doubles event with fellow Aussie Matthew Ebden. On Thursday, Stosur and Ebden reached the semifinal round with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Hayley Carter of the United States and Sander Gille of Belgium on Rod Laver Arena. Friday, Stosur and Ebden will oppose Diana Krawczyk of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain. For Stosur, she’s one win away from a chance at going after her fourth Grand Slam mixed doubles title, each with a different playing partner.

“We’re combining really well. We’re enjoying it. We’re having some fun,” Stosur said of playing with Ebden during an interview session on Thursday. “Today was even better with some people in the stands making it exciting. I think mixed doubles is about having fun, enjoying it. When there’s people trying to entertain, it’s much better than playing in front of no one. I think we both enjoyed being out there.”

The Stosur-Ebden partnership grew out of each other’s desire to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles. They received a wild card into the Australian Open mixed doubles draw and are making the most of their opportunity.

“I think, obviously we know we’re both accomplished players, singles, doubles, mixed doubles, had a lot of experience,” Ebden said. “We sort of know what we’re doing out there. Now, we know how to do it together. So far, so good. One by one. Go again, tomorrow.”


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Stosur, who is ranked 112th in singles and 33rd in doubles, has shown she still has a lot of tennis left in her. And so does the 33-year-old Ebden, who was once ranked as high as No. 39 in singles but is now No. 313 and No. 109 in doubles. They hope to play in other Grand Slam mixed doubles events together later in the year, and Stosur has been a fixture on the Australian Olympic Team the past four Summer Games. Still, Stosur was asked by a reporter when she’ll know she’s had enough and move on to other pursuits.


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“Yeah, that’s a good question,” said Stosur, who has also been juggling her time on court with being in the broadcast booth for Australian television. “I mean, I hear other people, other players retired, a lot of them just know when it’s time. There’s been some matches where I’m like, ‘Oh, geez, do I want to do that again?’ Then you have a day like today, playing mixed. It’s like, ‘Yeah, absolutely I want to do it again.’Yeah, I’d like to still see out at least this year. I haven’t got any plans to stop yet.

“Obviously with COVID and all of that, it makes things really difficult. I’m playing, kind of taking it week by week. Yeah, just enjoying every chance that I get to step out on court at the moment.”

Bouzkova, Kasatkina advance to Phillip Island Trophy final

No. 13 seed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic upset No. 2 seed Bianca Andreescu from Canada, 6-7 (9), 6-2, 7-5 Thursday afternoon to reach the final of the WTA’s Phillip Island Trophy event at Melbourne Park.

The 52nd-ranked Prague native who now lives and trains in Bradenton, Fla., overcame a 1-4 final set deficit and saved match points during her three-hour and one-minute victory. In going after her first WTA singles title, she will face 71st-ranked Daria Kasatkina of Russia in Friday’s title match. Kasatkina, who is 17-6 since Rome last fall, eliminated No. 8 seed Danielle Collins of the United States, 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-1 in the other semifinal. It will be Kasatkina’s first final since 2018.

The doubles final will be between the Russian team of Anna Blinkova and Anastasia Potapova versus Anita Raina of India and Kamilla Rakhimov from Russia.

Karatsev will break into ATP Top 50

Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev‘s fantastic run at the Australian Open ended with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 loss to nine-time champion Novak Djokovic on Rod Laver Arena Thursday evening.

“It was a great two weeks for me, starting with the qualifying,” said Karatsev, 27, during his final Melbourne press conference. “It’s a good experience. To play against Novak helps me to get experience.”

Karatsev was asked what it was like to play in front of a big crowd on the first day fans were allowed onto the Melbourne Park grounds following a five-day lockdown.

“It felt unbelievable. There were a lot of people here, and the support was really warm,” Karatsev said. “It was [a] good atmosphere to play [in].”

After Karatsev qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw, he beat eight seed Diego Schwartzman, No. 18 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and No. 20 seed Grigor Dimitrov en route to achieving a semifinal berth. As he explained during his press conference, there’s a “huge” difference between him and Djokovic.

“The difference is really big,” said Karatsev, who has only played 19 tour-level matches. “He doesn’t give you free points. On my serve, you have to play a rally every point. [My] serve didn’t work well today, and on my service game there [were] always rallies. He served well all the match, [so] you’re under pressure.”

Thanks to the 114th-ranked Karatsev’s run to the Aussie semifinals, he will leap all the way into the ATP Top 50 when the rankings are updated on Monday. He’s hopeful of playing more ATP Tour-level events after being successful on the ATP Challenger Tour level.

“It gives me more experience, mor confidence,” Karatsev said of making the main draw at the year’s first major. “Now, I will be playing all [the] big tournaments without [having to play in] the qualifying. I’ll [use] this confidence and just keep playing, keep practicing.”

Dodig/Polasek advance to AO men’s doubles final

Kenin recovering from surgery

Just three days after having surgery to remove her appendix, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and her father and coach, Alexander, were seen attending the Naomi OsakaSerena Williams semifinal at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday afternoon.

By the numbers

• By reaching the Australian Open final, Jennifer Brady became the seventh woman in the last nine majors to make her Grand Slam final debut, joining:

2018 US Open – Naomi Osaka

2019 French Open – Ashleigh Barty and Marketa Vondrousova

2019 US Open – Bianca Andreescu

2020 Australia Open – Sofia Kenin

2020 French Open – Iga Swiatek

• According to New York Times tennis correspondent Christopher Clarey, Jennifer Brady is the eighth woman from the United States to reach a Grand Slam final since 2000:

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