As Samantha Stosur went to bed the night before what would be a career-defining US Open final in 2011, she had a feeling it was to be her day.
Her run to the final was tough – she overcame two epics in the third and fourth rounds against Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko, before cruising past Vera Zvonareva in the quarters.
She won in three sets against Angelique Kerber in the quarters, and was faced with Serena Williams in her home tournament in the final.
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“I don’t know what it was – the night before when I got myself into the final, I just had this feeling I was going to win the next day,” Stosur told Weekend TODAY on Sunday.
“I mean, that’s a moment that every athlete dreams of … being in the zone. Doing everything that you want to do.
“For whatever reason it happened that day for me.”
Her win that day against Williams was as comprehensive as they get – 6-2, 6-3 to become the first Aussie woman to win a grand slam since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980.
The last Aussie woman to win the US Open was Margaret Court in 1973.
While last year’s Australian Open was her last singles tournament, she announced the 2023 doubles edition would be her last professional tournament.
The 38-year-old said her final event had “snuck up on her”.
“When I came to this decision, before all these tournaments this year started, I thought I had so much time left.
“Now I’ve already played the first two events – the United Cup and in Adelaide (International) – the Aussie Open starts tomorrow, and I’m like ‘Wow, it’s here’.
“I feel like it’s snuck up on me after all this time. It will be amazing to get out there again and hopefully play well and really enjoy the moment.”
Having spent the past 12 months on the doubles circuit, Stosur said she was now looking forward to spending time at home with her partner Liz Astling and daughter Evie.
“I’ve been very lucky that we’re all able to travel together as a family for this past 12 months … we had a great time.
“I feel like by the third trip away in the US, we finally kind of nailed the process and how do it well with a toddler.
“It was amazing to see the world through Evie’s eyes, and (to) still be able to do something that I love and have that support from them was incredible.
“I’m really grateful for this past year, but now I get to do normal things at home – I’ll probably be the one doing childcare drop off or something like that.”
Stosur is entered in the womens’ draw with France’s Alize Cornet, as well as the mixed doubles with compatriot Matthew Ebden.
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