Brisbane, 17 September 2011 | AAP

Months of preparation by her coach helped an out-of-sorts Sam Stosur storm into the US Open final.

But Stosur revealed on Saturday a last minute “lucky charm” from mentor David Taylor was the surprise inspiration behind her breakthrough grand slam win in New York.

Together for almost four years, Stosur thought she knew everything about Taylor.

But the man who had become more of a friend than a coach produced something unexpected on the drive to a daunting US Open final showdown with 13-time grand slam champion Serena Williams.

“He spoke about the match but then he gave me a good luck charm which he never, ever does – he gave me a little yellow New York taxi toy car,” Stosur said after arriving in Brisbane on Saturday.

“He had written something on it – ‘I play like I must’.

“That’s one phrase he always tries to repeat to me.

“It means in pressure moments, you have to play like you must, not how you feel.

“I took it (toy car) in my bag during the match – I might put it with the replica (US Open) trophy when I finally get it.”

Taylor always had Stosur’s back – but the unexpected gift seemed to ram home the faith he had in a charge who had taken longer than expected to regroup from an upset 2010 French Open final loss to Italy’s Francesca Schiavone.

Despite becoming the first Australian woman to win a grand slam in 31 years, Stosur was unsure whether she would travel with her new lucky charm even with the Australian Open in sight.

“I don’t know if I will carry it around with me or leave it for that special day that we had – I will definitely keep it forever,” she told AAP.

Not that Stosur doesn’t have big plans for the 2012 Australian Open.

Indeed, as much as Stosur cherished her US Open breakthrough, the Gold Coast product believed an Australian Open triumph would top it all.

“Winning a grand slam is unbelievable but, if it was ever to be an Australian Open, that would be something else,” she said.
“It is probably the most special grand slam I could possibly win so, if that does happen, that would make the top of my career.

“Hopefully, I can ride this wave of confidence and belief into January.

“The first grand slam for anyone is very special – but to be Australian and win the Australian Open would be massive. That’s the next dream.”

Of the Australian Open expectation, Stosur said: “It is different going into the Aussie Open compared to the others – there has been a bit of expectation in previous years but next year it will be much bigger than it ever has been.

“Hopefully, I can handle that – I think all these experiences will allow me to handle it as best I can.

“Not too many win a grand slam in their home country – there’s probably a reason for that.

“But I would love to break that mould.”

Buzzing from congratulatory texts and emails from Aussie tennis greats Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Margaret Court Smith, Stosur will “have a bit of a party” with family and friends before preparing for this month’s Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.