Yastremska too strong for Sam at AO
MELBOURNE, AAP – Sam Stosur’s lean record at Melbourne Park continued on Tuesday evening with a first-round loss to rising Ukrainian star Dayana Yastremska – her fourth-straight defeat in the Australian Open’s opening round.
Stosur, the only Australian woman to win a major since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980, lost to the 18-year-old 7-5 6-2 in one hour and 18 minutes.
The 34-year-old led 5-2 in the first set yet lost 12 of the next 15 games.
The popular baseliner came out swinging, overcoming her opponent with powerful strokes to lead 4-1, much to the delight of the Melbourne Arena crowd.
Then Yastremska started to impose her own power game, sweeping away Stosur’s chances.
The final winner count – a tally which Stosur used to dominate – read 21-13 in the Ukrainian’s favour.
Stosur’s serve was nowhere where it needed to be, conceding four breaks and six double-faults.
And soon enough, it was over, with Stosur largely relegated to the role of spectator in the second set.
While the defeat disappointed the Australian faithful who had gathered around the show court, it wasn’t unexpected; while Yastremska may be 16 years Stosur’s junior, she is ranked 18 places above the 2011 US Open winner.
The straight-sets triumph was her first victory at a major after making a Grand Slam debut last year at Flushing Meadows.
“I’m so excited. This day will stay forever in my memory,” Yastremska said, holding back tears.
“With this two weeks, I hope two weeks, I hope people will know more and more (about me).”