Milestone has Stosur pumped for Paris
Sam Stosur has WTA officials scrambling through the record books trying to find if any other woman in history has matched her incredible feat of 450 straight weeks as a national No.1.
Sam Stosur is celebrating an extraordinary milestone that is fuelling the veteran’s hopes of embarking on another big French Open charge.
Stosur will enter the claycourt Grand Slam, starting on Sunday, as Australia’s top-ranked women’s player for a magical 450th straight week.
The stunning statistic had WTA officials scrambling through the record books on Wednesday, trying to determine if any other woman in professional tennis history had enjoyed such a lengthy unbroken stint as their nation’s No.1.
Not even the great Serena Williams can boast such an enduring reign atop the US rankings, with injury and illness often sidelining the 23-time major champion over the years.
A four-time semifinalist in Paris and runner-up in 2010, 33-year-old Stosur has been Australian No.1 since usurping Casey Dellacqua in October, 2008.
“Oh wow, that’s a great number. It’s something I’m very proud of,” Stosur told AAP on the eve of Friday’s draw at Roland Garros.
Young gun Daria Gavrilova threatened to overtake Stosur with her run to the quarterfinals last week in Rome.
But far from being ready for any changing of the guard, Stosur has returned to France one spot above Gavrilova at No.24 in the world and feeling ready once more to make a major impact at a slam seemingly wide open without the pregnant Williams as well as two-time champion Maria Sharapova, among others.
“It’s definitely a good feeling going back to where you’ve had success,” Stosur said.
“I really enjoy coming back to the French every year, last year making the semis again, so that was good and obviously I’d love to get the same or similar kind of result this year.
“The courts in Paris are the best in the world as far as the clay goes but, for whatever reason, I’ve managed to play some of the best tennis of my career on those courts and it’s something you can thrive on.”
After tough three-set defeats at the hands of in-doubt Open favourite Simona Halep (ankle) and in-form Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Madrid and Rome, Stosur sought a wildcard to play in Strasbourg this week.
It’s already paid dividends, with the former US Open champion regaining her mojo with a pair of storming 6-1 6-0 wins over Ying Ying Duan and Madison Brengle to reach the quarterfinals.
“I did feel like the last couple of weeks I was playing pretty well but obviously not winning as much as you probably want to,” Stosur said.
“So that was the reason probably why I came here, not because I didn’t feel confident about my game.
“But you want to try and get those wins under your belt if you can.”