Sam comes up short in Stanford

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus advanced to her third final of the WTA season, defeating Australian top seed Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-3 on Saturday at the Bank of the West Classic.

Stosur, in her sixth semifinal of the year, leads the WTA with 37 match triumphs this year but could not claim the crown in her first event since cracking the rankings top five, losing to Azarenka for the fourth time.

“She has had such good results. I’m so happy at how I played against her,” Azarenka said.

Azarenka broke Stosur three times in the first set for a 5-2 edge and held at love to claim the set, then kept the Aussie at bay in the second set as well.

“I thought she played quite well today and punished me when I didnt hit a good serve in the court, that’s for sure,” said Stosur who lost to Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli in the semis last year.

“It wasn’t my best day and she played quite well. I didn’t come up with the goods when I needed to and she punished me when I was being too conservative.

“She is definitely a good player. I think she has proved that by being in the top 10 for awhile.

“Maybe I will realise some more positive things as the day goes on. Right now it’s a little bit difficult. I think there are definitely things I can improve on for the next time I play her or any match.”

  • Linda

    Sam: You're not playing right. You need a new coach to show you how
    to be much more offensive. You''re much too defensive, and that will never
    beat the heavy hitters.
    L. Kahn, NYC

  • Sue Saccardi

    Sam keep your chin up. You played hard. Keep moving forward. Good things will come.

  • BennyG

    Don't worry about this loss Sam, you just had one of those days where everything did not go your way. It happens to every player every now & then. Now concentrate on San Diego & fingers crossed you can have a deep run there :) Always supporting you.

  • LindaChiang

    Hi Sam~:
    It's a very weird match,you seemd to lose your shots over and over again,
    Did you get hurt or something? I saw a bandage on your right arm,
    or maybe there has another reason that I don't get it,but I think you could play much better,
    especially when you made some beauty shots in the end of second set , that make me believe it,
    it's just a still have other chances to prove youreslf, I expect to see that comes.
    Go~ Sam!!

  • Ameli

    I couldn't disagree more with you, Linda.
    I see today's Sammy's loss to Azarenka only as a good lesson.
    It seems you're forgetting just how great Sammy has played at Roland Garros and all throughout this year.
    She was so focused at RG. She was attacking the net and winning powerful ground-strokes. Not to mention her smashing ace serve.
    Sammy IS at the top of her game, and from this point on she can only get better.
    I had a feeling she was a bit distracted today and couldn't concentrate for whatever reason.
    But that doesn't mean she's too defensive or in a need of a new coach or whatever.
    Give her some time to get back in her groove, figure out a few things.
    The only good advice I'd give her would be to move like a cheetah across the court. Great footwork is muy importante, and always pays off.
    Sammy moves beautifully when she's in the zone.
    Next stop is San Diego…

  • David Mar


    Thats OK. We have all had one of those days…looking forward to seeing you on the tube from San Diego. Maybe next year you can start the US Open series in my neck of the woods (Washington) and I can see you live.

  • Jim

    Bummer about the loss Sam, but no need to beat yourself up about it. You were definitely not at your best, didn't have anything like your normal touch. She played well, but on those points when you were hitting the ball well you really gave her a lot of trouble. Unfortunately there were just not enough of those points. The summer has just started and there is still plenty of time for you and Dave to analyse the match and make the necessary adjustments. Maybe you were still feeling the tough match against Wickmayer that ended just 16 hours earlier, maybe you just didn't have your day. It happens, no drama. She played pretty well, but didn't have to do more than that, so next time you play her there's no reason to think you can't beat her. Like Sue says: keep your chin up, good things will come.

  • Jim

    With all due respect…. are you crazy? Have you seen how Sam’s game has improved since she has been working with Dave? Sam, don’t listen to this.

  • Elena Konovalova

    Do not worry, Sam. This is a sport. Already in the second round of San Diego you can take from Vica revenge. You work hard in training, but this is sure to lead you to great results. You got the spirit of champions, Sam.
    Dave the best coach in the Tour. You should appreciate this. But you can't ever forget one chinese proverb that “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.”
    I hope nothing serious with hand. I believe in you Sammy!

  • Drine

    Well Sam, bad days happen, don't worry about this loss, you made it to the semis so still a very good week ;) Of course I'm disappointed you didn't reach the final but Vika played very well. Stanford's over for you so let's forget it and focus on the next tournament, San Diego. Another chance to show how much you improved, to show that you never give up on a court and to show that you deserve your #5 spot in the rankings.
    I believe in you Sam, I believe in your team, good luck!!!
    GO SAM!!!

  • bee_still

    You're my champ sammy. Nothin's gonna change that. Just keep those pretty smiles coming :)

  • Mario from Croatia

    Sam's gameplay was not very good because she had to many unforced errors and serving is not always working well. Don't be concerned Sam it's just bad day and semifinal is also good result, tennis is hard sport and it's not easy to play on high level so you can improve game in next tournament I'am sure for that. I saw bandage on yours right shoulder and I hope is nothing serious so rush on to next challenges.

  • Thomas Debes

    sucks that you werent able to be at your best that day, but that`s the game. every loss is a new lesson learned i guess. but you have a busy schedule now so just keep pushing for that a-game and go all in. good luck

  • Jean-François (from France)

    Hi Sam :)
    Come on, remember what I said about “with” and “without” days ? Yesterday was definitely a without one…. too much gifts to your oponent. But the real Sam appeared at the end of the 2nd, and even if I knew it was a little late, it was good to see that. It just mean that you can beat any oponent, if you really believe you can !! Let's consider that Stanford was a “real practice” ( sorry for my english, I can't find the words, but I think you understand what I mean ;) ) , and just keep it up, Sam :)
    What about your shoulder ? Are you injured ? I really hope it's nothing to worry about !
    Always supporting you, Sam, you are a great player :)
    Come on, Sam, we all love you :)


  • Sam, USA

    Tough match, Baby Girl. Can't blame your heart though, you fault the entire match. She was on top of her game and you were a bit flat. Maybe trying a new strategy? If so, it will probably work well because the points were you hit the ball well you were definitely in control. But there were just too many errors. That's something for you and Dave to work out. Keep that positive attitude and keep looking forward. There are great things ahead for you, Sam. Believe in yourself.
    Semper Fi
    “Just Do It”

  • Lorena Mazzoni (Argentina)

    Don´t worry Sam!!! We all have that kind of days!!! Just keep going!!! You are playing great and you will continue playing even better!!!!!

  • Rena_Egypt

    Don't worry Sam. keep moving forward. I'm sure you can achieve what you want and I do really believe in you , So keep you're chin up Sam . Good luck in san diego . I'm sure you're going to do your best as always. Best wishes Sam

  • Rena_Egypt

    Btw , could anyone please tell the date and time of sam's next match ?
    Good luck Samy . Go Sam

  • sylvie

    We believe in you no matter what! keep positive and as long as you'll enjoy yourself on court we 'll enjoy watching you!
    one of your french supporter

  • Hi! A pair of hits in the second were the thing! You're on the right track Sammy! Ahead long-long hard session. San Diego. Cincinatti. Montreal. US Open… A victory at hand! We love and believe in you!

  • Ice

    Tough luck Sam, you came up against a very determined Azarenka who played very well. Regroup and come back stronger and more determined Sam. There are very few top 10 players you haven't beaten including Azarenka and Venus, but I am very sure you are going to overturn those results very soon. Keep the believing in yourself Sam and don't beat yourself over the loss too much. Kudos to my fav player :)

  • Ice

    Looks like you may get the chance to take revenge on Azarenka in Sandiago in the second round if she beats Oudin in round one. Refocus and perhaps look at the videos on the last couple of games against Azarenka and overturn the 4nil loss to her. Keep believing and you will definitely keep getting up the rankings and build up to what I belive will be a great US Open tournament for you this year. Kudos to my fav player :)

  • Swimmer-18

    hi Sam!!
    You did a great job but it just wasnt your day…. Hope you do really well in San Diego!
    You'll sure beat her there=))

  • LankyDes

    I don't think there's any danger of Sam listening to it. Sam must be one of the most aggressive players around; she just got no chance to be aggressive from an opponent at the top of her ghame as she proved agains Sharapova. I'm more concerned that I haven't seen our heroine look like she's enjoying playing since she got to the Fremch final ; maybe it is taking her time to get used to being a favourite.I'm very confident there is better to come.

    I certainly didn't enjoy the game . Azarenka's squealing is outrageous.

    Des, Liverpool, England

  • jean-françois ( France)

    Not scheduled yet, then probably 3rd of august


  • Paul Courtis

    yes its likely to be on Wednesday (australian time we are a day in front). Probably against azarenka again!

  • Jim

    Hi Rena:

    Sam's got a first round bye and then plays Oudin or Azarenka (sweet revenge?) in the second round. That match will be tomorrow (Tuesday) so at earliest Sam will play Wednesday.
    Best wishes


  • Rena_Egypt

    Thank you for replying :) , Best wishes for sam

  • Jim

    Hi Des. You're right that there's not much danger of (or need for) Sam taking notice of this comment. But I don't agree that Sam's not enjoying herself in general. Obviously she wasn't enjoying Saturday's match much, but that was because she wasn't able to execute the way she knows she can. Azarenka's squealing (again you're right: outrageous) may not have helped her mood much. This was her second semifinal since RG, so I think her form is fine in general, and judging by her interviews in Sydney she's fully motivated as well. We'll see more of that gorgeous smile in the weeks to come, I'm sure of that.

  • Tic626

    “I'm more concerned that I haven't seen our heroine look like she's enjoying playing since she got to the Fremch final. ” I totally agree with you. It seems like she is putting a lot of pressure on herself. I hope she can just relax and enjoy the game.

  • LankyDes

    Azarenka has pulled out. That might be a relief to Sam though she will have to work out how to play her sooner or later!

  • Jim

    Oh ye of little faith! ;-)

    If Sam's proved anything this year, it's that she's good at bouncing back from a loss. Look at her record against the players who she's played again after being beaten earlier in the year:

    Serena Williams (AO) 46-26
    Serena Williams (RG) 62-67-86
    Justine Henin (Stuttgart) 46-62-16
    Justine Henin (RG) 26-61-64
    Jelena Jankovic (Indian Wells) 26-46
    Jelena Jankovic (Miami) 61-76
    Jelena Jankovic (RG) 61-62

    Nobody's lost to Sam this year and gone on to win a subsequent match against her. Together with Dave, Sam has made it her business to learn from her losses and even from her wins. She wins as much these days by working players out as through her fantastic shots. And for someone supposedly buckling under the weight of her higher ranking and profile, two semi's since the RG final is not bad (compare that to Schiavone's sorry record). You worry too much Des, Sam'll be fine!