Sam Stosur's incredible smackdown for haters in US Open triumph

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·Sports Editor
·4-min read
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Zhang Shuai and Sam Stosur, pictured here with the championship trophy after the US Open final.
Zhang Shuai and Sam Stosur celebrate with the championship trophy after the US Open final. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Sam Stosur has delivered the ultimate smackdown for those who say she shouldn't be playing anymore, winning the US Open doubles title.

The much-maligned Aussie star achieved more glory at the US Open on Sunday, 10 years after her greatest triumph when she dethroned Serena Williams to win her maiden singles major.

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Stosur, 37, and Chinese partner Zhang Shuai won the women's doubles crown, ensuring the teenage women stars at Flushing Meadows weren't going to get everything their own way on Sunday.

Stosur and Zhang defeated US teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally 6-3 3-6 6-3 in an absorbing final.

The youngsters were left in tears of disappointment at the awards ceremony but Gauff managed to raise a smile when she told an astonished Stosur: "Not a lot of people know this but, Sam, you're actually my first autograph of a professional tennis player!

"So playing a final against you is really cool! Hopefully, we'll be in another final together."

Stosur had won her first US Open doubles title 16 years ago with Lisa Raymond - when Gauff was just a year old - and there were times during the final when the Australian looked distinctly vulnerable with her volleys at the net while it was down largely to the excellent Zhang to come to the rescue for the 14th seeds.

On the day after 18-year-old Emma Raducanu had beaten 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez in a landmark women's final, it looked as if McNally, 19, and Gauff, 17, might keep the youthful trend going as they fought back after being outplayed in the opening set.

Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai, pictured here shaking hands with Coco Gauff and Catherine McNally.
Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai shake hands with Coco Gauff and Catherine McNally after the US Open final. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Sam Stosur wins seventh grand slam title

But Stosur was determined that experience would triumph over youth this time, coming good exactly when it was needed and delivering a critical thumping forehand winner that earned the crucial break for 5-3 in the decider.

She then served out for the victory, thumping down a big serve on the second championship point to Gauff's forehand that the youngster could only hook wide.

"We were playing again a couple of youngsters who even though they're so young, have got quite a bit of experience, they just play fearless," said an impressed Stosur, after enjoying an 11th-straight match win with Zhang following their success in Cincinnati.

"I think they're a really great team. Again, no doubt they're going to be back in situations like this, challenging for titles. Not just yet - not today."

And responding to the thought that Gauff was just a baby when she first won at Flushing Meadows, Stosur couldn't help laughing: "It's a little bit of a scary thought - and I can't believe that I'm standing here with this trophy 16 years later.

"It's been an absolutely incredible tournament for Shuai and myself."

It was a second grand slam success for Stosur and Zhang as a team, following their 2019 victory in the Australian Open, and the veteran Queenslander has now, in total, won seven slam doubles - four women's and three mixed.

There may be uncertainty over Stosur's furure in the game but this was the perfect way for the former world No.1 doubles player to mark the 10th anniversary of her famous 2011 triumph over Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows.

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with AAP

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