SAM Stosur has won at Wimbledon. A match, that is. But what would have been one small first step for others was a giant opening leap for the US Open champion, whose impressive 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro yesterday earned her a place in the second round for the first time in three years.
It was just Stosur's sixth victory in 15 matches at the All England Club, but her 10th consecutive main-draw appearance hinted at better things to come for the Australian fifth seed, who prefers higher bouncing surfaces and more time to set up for her big shot, her forehand.
Yet she has also reached the semi-finals of three lesser grasscourt events in recent years, so her repeated Wimbledon failures represented an incongruity that needed to be corrected.
''It's probably one of the best matches I've played on grass in recent years, so that's a good feeling,'' said Stosur, whose early loss in the lead-up tournament in the Netherlands allowed for an early arrival in London and plenty of hours on the practice court ''which has been nice and hopefully it's all paid off''.
Indeed, Stosur looked sharp and confident from the outset, losing just four points on her first three service games and twice breaking Suarez Navarro to lead 5-0 in just 16 minutes. Not only was the diminutive world No. 40 not handling Stosur's serve, she was struggling horribly on her own, and had already been forced to save a set point before finally getting on the scoreboard.
Other featured results:
- Maria Sharapova beat Anastasia Rodionova 6-2; 6-3
- Ayumi Morita beat Jarmilla Gajdosova 6-4; 6-3
- Xavier Malisse beat Marinko Matosevic 6-2; 6-2; 7-5