Australian tennis legend Samantha Stosur played her final women’s doubles match after losing to No. 11 seeds Zhaoxuan Yang and Hao-ching Chan at the Australian Open on Thursday.
Stosur still has mixed doubles to play with teammate and fellow Australian Matt Ebden on Friday as she nears retirement.
Watch the video above: Sam Stosur’s women’s doubles career comes to an end.
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At the final ball, the crowd gave the 38-year-old a standing ovation, and a visibly emotional Stosur absorbed the crowd’s reaction.
“Seeing you cry makes me want to cry,” Stosur told fellow Australian tennis great Casey Delacqua after the match.
“I thought it was a great match today. [Yang and Chan] It was a very good day and nothing was given.”
When asked by Delacqua how he knew it was the right decision to retire, Stosur said, “I hope it’s right. That’s the main thing.”
“It was a really tough decision. I love to play, I love to compete, I love to play in front of you.
“But I think you get to a point where other things get a little bit harder. I loved my running – traveling, playing, all the things I could do – and I wanted to finish at home. .
“But thank you for being here. It was really special.”
Of the moment she misses most, Stosur said what makes her job so enjoyable is the atmosphere and support of the crowd.
“That’s what we all play for. We love playing in front of crowds. It’s not the same when it’s not there. I love being out there. I still practice. I love it,” she said.
“I know I couldn’t have done more. I love playing here. It’s incredible to play in a home tournament. I’m so lucky to have a Grand Slam at home. I’ve done it 21 times. So I can’t complain.”
Stosur announced before the Australian Open that it would be her last tournament.
The 2011 U.S. Open singles champion said with “mixed feelings”, “I’m looking forward to taking the court one last time in front of these amazing fans. You can play sports, enjoy this wonderful ride one last time.”
She spent 2022 on the doubles tour sporadically, but apart from one unexpected singles wildcard in May, she made it to the Wimbledon mixed doubles final alongside Matt Ebden. .
In addition to his singles title at the US Open, Stosur reached the 2010 French Open final and won seven doubles Grand Slams. From her first win in 2005 to her latest in 2021, she has 4 wins for women and 3 wins for mixed.
The Australian held the world No. 1 doubles ranking for over a year from 2006 to 2007 and was ranked No. 4 in the world in singles.