NEW YORK — Already being outplayed by Sam Stosur in the U.S. Open final, the last thing Serena Williams needed was to lose a game for yelling during a point.
That’s exactly what happened early in the second set, leading to an argument between Williams and the chair umpire, reminiscent of the American’s tirade two years ago at the same tournament. In the end, Stosur beat Williams 6-2, 6-3 Sunday in a surprisingly lopsided upset for her first Grand Slam title.
“I’m still kind of speechless. I can’t actually believe I won this tournament,” Stosur said. “I guess to go out there and play the way I did is obviously just an unbelievable feeling, and you always hope and you want to be able to do that, but to actually do it, is unbelievable.”
Hitting powerful strokes from the baseline, and looking fresher than the far-more-accomplished Williams right from the start, the ninth-seeded Stosur became the first Australian woman to win a major championship since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980.
Only 2-9 in tournament finals before beating Williams, Stosur made the U.S. Open the third consecutive Grand Slam tournament with a first-time women’s major champion, after Li Na at the French Open, and Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon.
“She played really, really well. I mean, I don’t think she’s ever played that well,” Williams said. “Maybe she has; I haven’t seen her play that well.”
This was only the 27-year-old Stosur’s third title at any tour-level event, and what a way to do it. She took advantage of Williams’ so-so serving and stayed steady throughout – finishing with 12 unforced errors to Williams’ 25 – despite the bizarre events that unfolded in the second set.
Indeed, the biggest victory of Stosur’s career so far likely will be recalled by everyone else for Williams’ latest dispute with an official at Flushing Meadows.
Down a set and facing a break point in the first game of the second, the 13-time major champion hit a forehand and shouted, “Come on!” as Stosur reached down for a backhand. Chair umpire Eva Asderaki ruled that Williams hindered Stosur’s ability to complete the point and awarded it to Stosur, putting her ahead 1-0 in that set.
Williams went over to talk to Asderaki, saying, “I’m not giving her that game.”
During the changeover two games later, Williams continued to talk to Asderaki, saying, “You’re out of control. ... You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside.”
Williams also told the official: “Really, don’t even look at me.”
Asderaki issued a code violation warning for verbal abuse.