Elena lost in yet another dramatic and heart breaking match. Not only it was the best WTA match so far but also a record-setter ending later than any previous women’s match at the US Open.
The Aussie started way better not giving many chances to Elena. Serve and forehand were working really well, she converted two out of three break point opportunities and hit 14 winners to take the 1st set 6-3.
Everything changed in the 2nd set, though. Dementieva decided to show up and picked up her game while Sam kind of disappeared. The oddest thing is that she has one of the most powerful serves on the women’s game but still was unable to hold for the entire set. The Russian eventually took the 2nd set 6-2.
As the 3rd set started, Sam got broken once again and Elena found herself with a 3-0 lead. As naive as this might sound, I started to think she had an actual shot in this match and could win it. As expected, I couldn’t be more wrong. Stosur finally held serve and immediately after broke Elena (oh WTA, never change!) to get back on serve. On 4-3, Sam netted a forehand giving the Russian two break points. She managed to save the first one, but after a long rally Elena was finally able to break and got the chance to serve for the match. She had a match point but props to Sam that kept her cool and remained completely focused. The Australian showed some nerve never giving up and eventually broke back to even things up. Btw, I gotta say that their display of athleticism was unbelievable. Some of those rallies were pretty amazing.
When I thought nothing else could happen (Duh, wrong again), Sam broke Elena and this time she was the one serving for the match. Guess what happen? In perfect WTA style she got broken again but not before Dementieva had to save a match point. As it should be this match had to end with a tie break. Sam totally controlled it and after 2h38′ booked her place in the QF for the first time ever.
Just a random fact, but between them, Sam and Elena had 37 break-point chances.
Finally, I am happy for Sam, but at the same time I can’t help but feel awful for Elena. Well, especially for her mom. It was so heart breaking to see her looking helpless and sad while her daughter was struggling on court. The truth is, Elena is still the best player to never have won a Slam, but the saddest thing is that I honestly don’t think that will ever happen. And it sucks.
Next stop for Sam? Kimmy. I can’t wait for that match.