Samantha Stosur is not done yet. The 37-year-old turned back the clock in style on Tuesday to pull off an inspired first-round comeback at the Australian Open.
Twenty years after her first appearance in Melbourne, Stosur was ready for her swan song after announcing that her home Slam would mark the final singles event of her career. With her friends and family in the stands, Stosur narrowly dropped the first set to American wild card Robin Anderson and her exit seemed all but inevitable.
But something clicked for Stosur, who had not won a Grand Slam match from a set down since 2010—a 29-match streak—and she roared back to life on Kia Arena. Rallying the fans for added support, the Brisbane native won the next two sets to defeat Anderson 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 and extend her singles career for another day.
Australia’s longtime standard bearer, the former US Open champion has always been honest about the added pressure that normally comes with competing on home soil. She has never won a singles title in Australia, nor has she been past the fourth round in Melbourne.
But now there’s no pressure for Stosur, and this week she is determined to live in the moment.
“The focus all along since I knew this was going to be my last event, was to play how I want to play, go out and enjoy it. Yeah, pretty much do what I did today,” she said. “I couldn't really ask for much more... It was good fun.
Tenth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova awaits wild card Stosur in the next round.