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Sam’s Olympic Dreams Shattered

Sam Stosur, Another Disappointment? Credit: wadjin, Flickr

In a huge disappointment for Australian fans everywhere, Aussie golden girl Sam Stosur has crashed out of the 2012 Olympics in spectacular fashion, being forced out of the singles and doubles championships in the one day. Stosur’s Olympics campaign was cut short by Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, who toppled Sam in a strongly-fought match. Stosur claimed the opening set 6-3, dropped the second 5-7 and battled hard in the third, only to go down 8-10 in just over two and a half hours. Just a few hours later, Stosur paired up with fellow Aussie Casey Dellacqua in the doubles championship, hoping to keep her Olympic dreams alive. Unfortunately, eighth seeds Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Nuria Llagostera Vives shattered Stosur’s hopes in emphatic fashion, taking out the match 6-1, 6-1. Stosur’s disappointing showing at the London Games has capped off a very turbulent period in the 28-year-old’s career. The current world number five had her best year in 2011, claiming her very first Grand Slam victory at the US Open in September of last year. On the way to forcefully defeating fourteen-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in straight sets, Stosur also defeated number two seed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3. 2011 also saw Stosur give a strong showing at the WTA Tour Championships in Turkey. Stosur’s first match, against tournament second seed Maria Sharapova, proved that she was a force to be reckoned with. She claimed her first ever win against Sharapova 6-1, 7-5. A 6-1, 6-0 belting of Chinese fifth seed Li Na saw Stosur progress to the semifinals. Current world number six Petra Kvitova proved to be too strong for Aussie Sam, but Stosur walked away with her head held high, having claimed her first ever set against the Czech star. The final score was 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in favour of Kvitova. But while 2011 saw many highs, it also saw some disappointments for Stosur. A third-round loss in the French Open to current world number 225 Gisela Dulko was disappointing for Stosur, but unfortunately the heartache did not stop there. Her 2011 Wimbledon campaign was especially damaging, crashing out in the first round of the singles tournament to Hungarian Melinda Czink, who was then ranked at world number 262, in a straight sets loss. Another first-round loss in the mixed doubles alongside American Mike Bryan meant Wimbledon was one to forget for Sam. She finished the year as world number six. And 2012 has been much the same story for Sam, unfortunately. After a series of disappointing losses to begin the year, including a first-round Australian Open defeat at the hands of Romanian Sorana Cirstea (6-7, 3-6), Stosur managed to find some form at the 2012 Fed Cup. In Australia’s tie with Switzerland, Sam won her two singles rubbers in straight sets. Hoping to carry that form into the second Grand Slam of the year, Stosur was seeded sixth, and was playing like the US Open winner that she was, breezing through to the quarter-finals having not dropped a single set.  Another straight sets win advanced her straight through to the semifinals, where, in a three-set battle, was defeated by Italy’s Sara Errani. This strong showing elevated Stosur to world number five, but in another disappointment, Stosur crashed out of Wimbledon in the second round. The London Games were meant to show the world that Sam was still the player that toppled Serena Williams just one year ago, but sadly Stosur’s Olympic dreams are finished, possibly forever. Sam will be 32 years old by the time Brazil host the 2016 Olympic Games, leaving it unlikely that Sam will ever make it back to the Games in her career. Stosur will leave London on Saturday, after spending this week in the athletes’ village practicing and watching Olympic sessions for other sports. It’s a sad, yet ultimately fitting, conclusion to what has been a turbulent period for Sam Stosur.

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