Sad scenes as Sam Stosur's singles career ends at Australian Open

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·Sports Reporter
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Sam Stosur and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova embrace after what was Stosur's final singles match, with the former grand slam winner retiring after her Australian Open defeat in the second round. Pictures: Getty Images
Sam Stosur and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova embrace after what was Stosur's final singles match, with the former grand slam winner retiring after her Australian Open defeat in the second round. Pictures: Getty Images

Sam Stosur's decorated singles career has come to an end at the Australian Open, with the 37-year-old retiring following a straight sets defeat at the hands of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Having already announced her intention to play a final singles tournament at Melbourne Park before focusing her efforts on doubles for the remainder of the year, it was in front of an appreciative home crowd that the former grand slam winner brought her singles career to a close.

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Stosur had plenty of support from a vocal crowd who had turned out in force for her second round match against the world No.11.

Fans had already been treated to a three set epic from Stosur in the first round, but Pavlyuchenkova proved a class above to take a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Tributes flowed for Stosur after the match from fans and players alike, with her memorable 2011 US Open victory over Serena Williams cementing her place among the greats of Australian tennis.

Speaking ahead of her 20th and final Australian Open, Stosur said it was simply the right time to step away - predicting an emotional farewell.

"Oh, for sure I'll be emotional and probably be a blubbering mess," Stosur joked.

"I'll put it out there right now. I'll probably be in tears and everything else.

"But I feel like the time is right. I'm happy with my decision."

Fans took to Twitter to post tributes to the Australian legend.

Stosur said she wasn't stepping back because she had lost her love for the sport, but simply that it felt like the right time to do so.

She and partner Liz Aisling announced the birth of their first child last year.

"I know there's going to be tears, but it's not for necessarily stopping," she said.

"It's obviously just been a huge part of my life, this sport, and my career and something I'm very proud of, and I think as soon as you walk away from anything like that, there's always going to be emotion involved.

"I know I'm going to look up into the stands and probably see my mom crying, and then I'll definitely be gone."

Sam Stosur bows out of singles at Australian Open

Stosur's achievements have only really been eclipsed recently with the rise of Ash Barty.

The 37-year-old was one of the most consistent players on tour for years, holding a place in the top 10 between 2010 and 2013 - an impressive stretch by any measure.

She made it to one other grand slam final, at Roland Garros in 2010, and was a semi-finalist on three other occasions.

Announcing the move on Instagram, Stosur said she would compete in doubles for the rest of 2022 before moving on to new challenges.

Reaching a career-high of world No.4 in 2011, the same year she defeated Serena Williams to win the US Open, Stosur will undoubtedly go down as one of the greats of Australian tennis.

Announcing her retirement on Instagram just after Christmas, Stosur said she was appreciative to have the chance to end her singles career on home soil.

“I’m so excited and very grateful to play in my 20th AO in a couple of weeks’ time,” she wrote.

Sam Stosur's decorated singles career has come to an end at the 2022 Australian Open. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Sam Stosur's decorated singles career has come to an end at the 2022 Australian Open. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

“A huge thank you to @tennisaustralia for giving me this opportunity to finish my singles career at my home Grand Slam.

“It really means a lot to me to be able to finish in front of my family, friends and Aussie fans who have stuck by me through thick and thin.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a mix of emotions but I wouldn’t want it any other way as I always thought I’d finish playing in Australia.

“I do however plan to play the rest of the year in doubles but this will close the first chapter of my career.”

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