French Open play from 9pm AEST Friday, June 3.
SHE’S the good old Aussie girl who holds the tennis hopes of the nation in her rather impressive arms.
The only Australian woman’s tennis player of note, Sam Stosur, is on the verge of a French Open final, with tough as nails Garbine Muguruza standing in her way in tonight’s semi final.
And any Aussie who is not in her corner either struggles with patriotism or has had their hard earned on the Venezuelan born Spaniard.
But not us.
We’re all about team Sam and we reckon she is a massive chance of upsetting Muguruza in the semi, at $3.16 with sportsbet.com.au.
Mugurza, seeded fourth in the open, has smacked all comers on her way to booking her date with Stosur and is the deserved $1.36 favourite.
And she desperately wants to be there on the last day of the tournament, but says she doesn’t know a whole lot about Stosur.
“I don’t think I have played against Stosur,” Muguruza said.
“I know that she reached the final at the French Open in 2010.
“She plays well.
“It will be a tough match.”
Perhaps Muguruza has a short memory…
Or maybe she just wants to forget the hammering she copped at the hands of Sotsur in the round of 32 on clay at the Madrid Masters in 2014.
Stosur nabbed the first set on that day, 7-5, but then Mugurza fought back to win the second, 3-6.
Our Sam then came home with a huge head of steam, rolling through the last set in quick time, 6-1.
Muguruza will definitely not want to see a repeat of that result.
After dropping the opening set of the French Open tournament to qualifier Anna Schmiedlova, Muguruza appears to be on a mission, rolling through her next four matches without losing a set, two of those wins to love.
Stosur has not found it as easy, dropping two sets on her way to the semis and fighting out tiebreakers three times, including in her most recent win in the quarter finals over Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-4, 7-6(6).
At 32, Stosur has had what could only be described as an odd career. A rising star who won the US Open and reached a French Open final, she was meant to be the next big thing in tennis.
But for some inexplicable reason, she never quite made that next step and, in the process copped plenty of stick for her “mental fragility”.
And now, at 32, we see her on the verge of being back in a grand slam final.
It has to be heartening for any athlete who has been called a spent force in their career.
“You can have a great year or two, and then you have a slump, and everyone writes you off,” Stosur said.
“I think even people write off Roger (Federer) and Rafa (Nadal).
“If they will write them off, they will write off everyone else.
“There has obviously been a few dips along the way there.
“It’s important to, I guess, really believe in yourself and what you’re doing and know, ‘If I keep doing this, I can turn it around.’
“(Now there is) four of us left out of 128 — 25 per cent chance of winning at the moment.”
Muguruza had been booted out in the quarter finals in the past two French Open tournaments and admits her loss in the Wimbledon final had caused her “a little bit of stress” ahead of her clash with Stosur.
“I have already experienced that situation at Wimbledon, so you see things differently and you know what you have to do,” Muguruza said.
“It’s very difficult to maintain your peace of mind when you reach the semifinal of a Grand Slam.
“You have to do away with the secondary thoughts.”
Make it a multi with Andy Murray vs. Stanislas Wawrinka
Over 3.5 sets ($1.30 with sportsbet.com.au)
Stanislas Wawrinka to win ($2.06 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Sam Stosur to win ($3.16 with sportsbet.com.au)
Murray vs. Wawrinka Over 3.5 sets ($1.30 with sportsbet.com.au)
Two leg multi pays $4.10 with Sportsbet.com.au
If you’re looking to get even more value out of your patriotic Stosur bet, it is worth throwing in an addition on the men’s division.
Two of the biggest guns in the game in Andy Murray ($1.77 with sportsbet.com.au) and Stanislas Wawrinka are set to go head to head for a chance to playoff in the final.
Murray is the favourite to win through to the final in this one – probably against world number one Novak Djokovic – and, if you listen to the two men, they seem to think so too.
Wawrinka acknowledges Murray is the better player, despite both men winning the two grand slam titles each.
“I think he is well ahead of me,” Wawrinka told reporters.
“Now that I’ve won a second Grand Slam people say I’m closer to him because I have won two and he’s won two as well.
“But if you were to compare our two careers he’s well ahead of me given all the titles, the finals, number two in the world, and he has so many Masters 1000, as well.”
The pair has met 15 times, with Murray holding a slender lead, 8-7, but Wawrinka has won their last three encounters and he has never lost to the Brit on clay.
We like Wawrinka to cause an upset here.
He has not actually dropped a set to Murray in their last three encounters and the last time they met on clay, Wawrinka obliterated him, 6-1, 6-2.
We think it will be a little closer this time, with the raised stakes and are backing Murray to take at least one set.No tags for this post.