Sam Stosur’s revelation that the Australian Open would be her farewell to tennis quickly sparked a flood of tears and tributes from within the sport.
- Sam Stosur retired from singles after last year’s Australian Open
- The 38-year-old will play doubles at the Australian Open alongside compatriot Mathieu Ebden and France’s Alizee Cornet
- She and Ebden made it to the finals in 2021
A Grand Slam in her home country is one of the domestic game’s much-loved greats after declaring that her two doubles events in her 21st year at the Australian Open will be her last competition before retirement. It is supposed to give a person an emotional sendoff.
The 38-year-old, who won the 2011 U.S. Open singles title, said Saturday, “I’m looking forward to being on the court one last time in front of these amazing fans. I love it and enjoy this amazing ride one last time. I’m here.”
Stosur, who ended her singles career at the same tournament last year, said: “I am very happy and grateful to finish playing at my favorite slam, Homeslam, in front of my Australian fans, friends and family. .
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“Even if I make the decision to retire from the sport I love, there’s only a small part of me that wants to keep playing forever.
“I know I will miss playing competitive tennis and all the great experiences and emotions that come with being on tour and doing what I have been doing most of my life.
“There have been so many standout matches, including against the legends of the sport, that when I look back, it makes me think about how grateful I am for my career.”
Her news came in the words of her friend, former coach and doubles partner Rennae Stubbs, especially from the Australian female players she has worked with, guided and inspired over the years. It evoked enthusiastic admiration.
“I knew this was coming, but here I am, crying from reading your words!” Stubbs wrote in response to Stosur’s Instagram post.
“Sam, nobody talks bad about you on tour.
“The love and respect you have for your class, your professionalism, your dedication, your sport, your fellow competitors, and the people around you is unmatched.
“Without you there would be a huge void on this crazy tour, but when you were there it was a really good place.
“It’s been a joy to watch you go from a talented, self-assured kid to a Hall of Fame career.
“You’re a role model to so many people and you shouldn’t be proud of it and the player you’ve become, but more importantly you’re human.”
Billie Jean King Cup star Storm Hunter said, “We were so lucky to have you as a great role model and inspiration Sammy.
A source at the Australian Open posted, “Thank you Sam for saving the last dance.”
Stosur, who will partner Matt Ebden in the mixed doubles final two years ago, will join France’s Alizee Cornette for an eighth women’s Grand Slam doubles title.
“A huge thank you to my wonderful parents Diane and Tony, my brothers Dominic and Danielle, my partner Liz and daughter Evie, and all of my coaches, physios, trainers, doctors and sponsors over the years,” Stosur wrote.