Zhang beats Stosur in second round
Shuai Zhang, Sam Stosur's doubles partner, proved too strong for the Australian 16th seed in a straight-sets win at Flushing Meadows on Thursday.
Chinese revelation Zhang Shuai has apologised to Sam Stosur for eliminating her doubles partner and Australia’s big women’s hope from the US Open in New York.
Zhang ousted the 2011 champion 6-3 6-3 in just 70 minutes to end Stosur’s Grand Slam season and continue her own fairytale run.
As Stosur pointed out pre-match, Zhang was “the story of the Australian Open” after storming to the quarterfinals having been none-from-14 at majors before arriving in Melbourne in January.
Now the 27-year-old is headed for the top 50 – at least – after powering into the last 32 at Flushing Meadows for the first time.
“Before the match I didn’t think I could beat her because she was a champion of the US Open and she has very good serve and very good spinning forehand,” Zhang said.
“It’s very tough to play her. She beat me in the French Open so this gives me a lot of confidence.”
But it was Stosur’s famed forehand and serve that proved her undoing, with the 16th seed committing 30 errors off her favoured wing and also being broken four times in nine games.
“She’s my best friend. It’s very tough to play against (a) friend,” said Zhang, who will reunite with Stosur on Friday bidding to make the third round of the doubles as well.
“She helped me a lot since I was a low ranking. I feel so sorry for her.”
Stosur copped the loss on the chin, saying she had nothing but respect for Zhang.
“I was super happy for her in Australia after having that run in Melbourne, after having so many disappointments (before that),” Stosur said.
“She’s a very nice girl and, regardless of today’s result, that’s not going to change. We’re going to play doubles tomorrow together. It’s just nice to see one of the nice girls out there do well.
“Unfortunately I’m on the wrong side of it today.”
Stosur’s exit leaving Nick Kyrgios as Australia’s last remaining player in the singles draws.