Sam into third round
The strut was back, the shoulders broad and the aces flowed as the real Samantha Stosur stood up to power into the third round of the US Open for the very first time.
After seven years of trying, fifth-seeded Stosur finally overcame her second-round jinx at Flushing Meadows with a storming 6-1 6-4 victory over fellow Australian Anastasia Rodionova.
“I just wanted to go out there and stamp my authority on the match from the start,” Stosur said.
“I was playing well and the body language and everything else just flowed on from there. I wasn’t going to allow myself to get into a hole or have anything changed.
“It’s obviously been disappointing my results here in previous years, so to get through that hurdle is definitely a good feeling.
“I’m very pleased with the way I played. I’m serving well and, from start to finish, I was really able to dictate what was going on on court.
“I really stepped up my level.”
Stosur’s reward for burying her demons and being Australia’s lone survivor in the women’s singles – following Sally Peers’s second-round loss on Wednesday to titleholder and two-time champion Kim Clijsters – is a seed-free passage to the second week.
The French Open runner-up will play Sara Errani on Friday (Saturday AEST) for a berth in the last 16 after the unseeded Italian scored a surprise 6-2 6-3 win over Russian Alisa Kleybanova.
Stosur, though, insisted she still hadn’t earned the right to look too far ahead in New York, especially after staving off four match points to see off Errani in a third-set tiebreaker only last week in Cincinnati.
“It’s funny how so quickly you can turn around and play the same player again,” the world No. 6 said.
“Looking back in hindsight, maybe that was a really important match to get through. I think it was anyway.
“Maybe that will play on her mind a little bit going into our match.”
Success over the Italian would likely thrust Stosur into a fourth-round confrontation with two-time Grand Slam finalist and 12th seed Elena Dementieva.