FP – Samantha Stosur racked up a simple second-round win at the WTA’s Washington Open on Wednesday and then talked up her chances of disrupting Serena Williams’ calendar grand slam bid if given the chance at the US Open.
The Australian second seed beat American Irina Falconi 6-1 7-5 to move into the quarter-finals, where she’ll next face Romanian Monica Niculescu.
With confidence on the rise following last week’s title victory on clay at Bad Gastein in Austria, Stosur hopes to build her hardcourt form with the US Open starting at the end of the month.
With Serena eyeing a rare grand slam, the Queenslander – the last woman to beat the world No.1 at the US Open – believes she has the firepower to knock her over again if she gets the chance.
Stosur won her only grand slam title at the 2011 US Open by defeating Williams 6-2 6-3 in the final.
Since then, Williams has been the queen of Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning three US Open titles in a row in a run of taking eight of the past 13 slam singles trophies.
“I’ve always actually quite enjoyed playing Serena. I’ve got a game that disrupts her,” Stosur said on Wednesday.
“You have to have the game. My game matches up well against Serena. I’ve got the kind of weapons that can bother her.
“No doubt she is going to be feeling the pressure, as much as you can when you’ve won four slams in a row and going for a fifth.
“You know she wants to get that calendar slam. She’s not immune to the nerves and pressure.”
Despite Williams leading their career rivalry 8-3 (not counting two Stosur wins by walkover) and having won their past four meetings without dropping a set, Stosur takes confidence from a 2-1 record in their grand slam meetings.
Stosur lost in the fourth round of the 2010 Australian Open but won 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 8-6 at the 2010 French Open semi-finals as well as in the US Open final.
With her Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon triumphs this year, Williams has completed the “Serena Slam” of holding all four trophies at once for the second time in her career, the first time in a run from the 2002 French Open to the 2003 Australian Open.
In addition to joining American Maureen Connolly, Aussie Margaret Court and Germany’s Steffi Graf as the only women to complete the calendar-year singles grand slam, Williams can match Graf’s Open era record of 22 career grand slam singles titles by winning the US Open. That would put her two shy of Court’s all-time record 24 slam singles crowns.
“It’s incredible what Serena is trying to achieve and what she has achieved. She is the best player of this generation by far,” Stosur said.