Underachieving Stosur drops out at the Open again
Eighth-seed Samantha Stosur crashed out in the French Open third round at Roland Garros overnight. The 27 year-old Australian, given a genuinely good chance of taking out the title, made so many unforced errors the 51st ranked Gisela Dulko won 6-4 1-6 6-3 in 121 minutes.
It was the Argentine’s first win over Stosur in three meetings.
The last time they met was in Madrid last month, where Stosur was successful in three sets.
But the writing was on the French wall for Stosur in the first two rounds, with 19 unforced errors in her 6-2 6-3 win over 52nd ranked Czech Iveta Benesova in the opening round – and 17 in the second against 67th ranked Simona Halep from Romania in the 6-0 6-2 victory.
Two romps, but far too many unforced errors.
Last night, the count jumped to 35 errors to Dulko’s 27, who struck 25 winners to Stosur’s 19 for game, set, and match.
Stosur would have been beaten more comprehensively had Dulko converted more than just five of 15 break points.
Which begs the question: what makes Sam Stosur tick when she’s beaten the likes of Serena Williams, Justine Henin, Ana Ivanovic, Amelie Mauresmo, Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina, and Caroline Wozniacki – all world number ones at the time – yet is consistently beaten by lesser lights?
The answer lies in just the two titles she’s won in an 11-year career – Osaka in 2009 and Charleston last year.
Stosur’s problem? She’s her own worst enemy, especially as she has one of the most powerful serves on tour, a ferocious forehand, with a solidly-struck two-fisted backhand – more than enough ammunition to successfully fire at all-comers.
And because of her standing as a doubles player in the past, where she reached world number one status in 2006 and won the US Open doubles in 2005, and the French in 2006, Stosur is a very accomplished volleyer.
Yet, her singles career stats are 334 wins with 239 losses – a win percentage of just 58.28, not nearly high enough to get the job done commensurate with her ability.
Conceding the Slams are the career criteria. In 33 of them, Stosur has:
* Been beaten in the opening round 12 times.
* In the second round – 9.
* The third – 7.
* The fourth – 2.
* The quarters – 1.
* The semis – 1.
* And the final once – last year’s French Open – comfortably beaten by Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-4 7-6, when Stosur was the clear favourite.
Overall, a litany of under-achieving. Which begs another question as to how Stosur can be ranked as high as number four, and now eight?
There’s no definable answer when Wozniacki is world number one, but has yet to win a Slam – nor has Lee Westwood, the men’s number one golfer, ever won a major.
So Stosur’s gone, so too Anastasia Rodionova, straight-setted by third seed Vera Zvonareva, making Jamila Gajdosova the sole Australian left in the singles.
Despite admitting she’s feeling distraught with the collapse of her two-year marriage, the 24 year-old takes on Germany’s Andrea Petkovic tonight for a place in the round of 16.
And with the shock defeat of number two seed Kim Clijsters, Gajdosova has the chance to reach the quarters, and a possible meeting with Maria Sharapova – my pick to win her first French Open, to complete her career Grand Slam of Wimbledon (2004), US Open (2006), and Australian Open in 2008.