Samantha Stosur clinched her first grand slam title at the US Open today with a sensational 6-2 6-3 victory over favourite Serena Williams in a match that will be remembered for another moment of controversy involving the American.
Williams had hoped to make the headlines for the right reasons on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks but instead a confrontation with umpire Eva Asderaki showed her in a very unflattering light.
The incident occurred in the opening game of the second set when Asderaki awarded a point against the American and Williams was then clearly heard aiming abuse at the umpire.
The 29-year-old is still playing under a suspended ban for another incident at Flushing Meadows two years ago when she abused a line judge and was penalised a point that directly led to her semi-final loss to Kim Clijsters.
What it did not detract from, though, was the performance of Stosur, who played near flawless attacking tennis to romp to victory in an hour and 13 minutes.
Williams had not dropped a set on her way to the final but she was blown away in the opener by Stosur, who came out with a positive attitude and exploited her opponent's tightness as she sought to deliver an American victory on a poignant day for New York.
The Australian’s only previous grand slam final came at the French Open last year, where she had been the favourite against Francesca Schiavone and had let the nerves get to her.
She was determined not to make the same mistake again and she most definitely did not, powering returns back at Williams and breaking her fearsome serve in the third and seventh games before completing a run of 12 straight points to clinch the set.
She then brought up two break points in the opening game of the second, and that is where the controversy began.
After saving one with an ace, Williams powered away a forehand and yelled out ’Come on’, but before Stosur had touched the ball. Umpire Asderaki, quite correctly according to the rules, awarded the point, and the break, to Stosur.
Williams was furious with Asderaki, who was not the umpire for the Clijsters match, and she was caught on camera clearly saying: “Aren’t you the one that screwed me over last time? I promise you that’s not cool. I truly despise you.”
At the next change of ends she warmed to her theme, calling Asderaki “out of control”, a “hater” and “unattractive inside”.
The crowd clearly felt Williams had been wronged and initially the moment seemed to help her, with Stosur the one who lost her concentration, and immediately her serve.
It looked like the turning point had arrived but Stosur rediscovered her cool and set about taking the game to Williams again.
She really was playing with astonishing power and poise in the face of the crowd and Williams at her most vocal, and she broke again to lead 4-3 and then comfortably held her serve.
Serving to stay in the match, the favourite erred again, giving Stosur two match points.
This time Williams rose to the challenge but Stosur brought up a third chance and a stunning forehand winner, of which there had been many, was a fitting end to a superb performance.