By virtue of prevailing in their last four meetings, Samantha Stosur, the 4th seed and world 11th, was favored to win over Vera Zvonareva seeded 7th and ranked 22nd in the Family Circle Cup final. However, Stosur’s 1-6 record in finals left plenty of room for pause. With ten titles under her belt including one this year, Zvonareva had experience on her side. Still, Stosur obliterated her prior performances from her mind and crushed Zvonareva 6-0,6-3 to become the first Aussie to conquer Charleston.
With three straight winners, Stosur opened with a love hold. Following a forehand error by Zvonareva, Stosur had break point. The Aussie captured the break with an overhead winner. Then, by culminating another love game with her sixth winner, Stosur took a 3-0 lead. Following three consecutive errors by Zvonareva, Stosur broke again. Later, with another forehand winner, Stosur stretched her lead to 5-0. With two forehand winners and a double fault donation by Zvonareva, Stosur arrived at double set point. As a result of an error by Zvonareva, Stosur secured d the set.
In her previous matches, Zvonareva had not relinquished a set. Considering a competitive encounter in Indian Wells last month despite Stosur being triumphant, it seemed a matter of time before Zvonareva struck back and Stosur cooled down. Yet, with a few more winners, Stosur readily held to start the second set. Then, with a backhand down the line winner, Stosur obtained triple break point. By converting a forehand down the line winner, Stosur claimed the break. Subsequently, with an ace to close out a love game, Stosur sprinted to a 3-0 lead. After two Stosur forehand winners and a double fault, Zvonareva stared at double break point. Unable to bottle her frustration any longer, Zvonareva erupted by wrecking a racket. Thereafter, the Russian won the next four point for 1-3. Momentarily, Zvonareva appeared to have found the antidote to Stosur’s hot hand. After holding for 2-4, because of a double fault and two forehand mistakes by Stosur, Zvonareva had double break point. When Stosur sliced a backhand out of play, the players were back on serve. Undaunted, Stosur resumed her relentless attack. In forcing a miscue from her rival, Stosur fabricated double break point. The Aussie followed that up with a forehand down the line winner for 5-3. Quickly, with a forehand crosscourt winner, Stosur set up triple championship point. Stosur guaranteed the trophy with a forehand crosscourt winner.
The Family Circle Cup, a WTA premier event, is the second and biggest title of Stosur’s career. Last season in reaching the semifinals at the French Open, Stosur revealed she is a legitimate competitor on clay. Even though those at the head of the class when it comes to favorites at the majors, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams were absent from this event; through this victory, Stosur demonstrates she will be a mighty contender this clay season as she climbs back into the top ten.