NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sam Stosur is discovering fame is fleeting and so are the perks that come with being a grand slam winner, even at Flushing Meadows where she was crowned U.S. Open champion in 2011.
The toast of the Big Apple just four years ago, Stosur has not exactly received a royal welcome back to New York as the Australian has been forced at times to ride the buses to the National Tennis Center instead of chauffeured courtesy cars.
And when the 22nd seed did make it to Flushing Meadows on Wednesday she was booted off a practise court by American darling and three-time defending champion Serena Williams.
If Stosur, the last player to beat Williams at the U.S. Open with her 6-2 6-3 victory in the 2011 final, felt slighted, she took it out on Evgeniya Rodina on Thursday by blasting the Russian 6-1 6-1 to speed into the third round in 51 minutes.
“Didn’t help or hinder me in any way, shape, or form today going out to play,” said Stosur, who was able to book a car to get her to Thursday’s morning match.
“But yeah, when you are still in the tournament you try and book a car (and) they say you can’t have one before 10:00 because you don’t have a match, I don’t think it’s good enough.”
Asked if she thought world number one Williams would get a car anytime she needed one, Stosur did not hesitate.
”I’d say so. She kicked me off my practice court yesterday, too,“ said Stosur. ”A few issues, but it’s all right.
“I had 45 minutes yesterday. I went on three different courts, so not ideal.”
Despite the distractions, Stosur has aced her first two tests advancing without dropping a set.
Next up for the 31-year old Australian is Sara Errani, the 16th-seeded Italian who recovered from a horrendous opening set to beat Latvian qualifier Jelena Ostapenko 0-6 6-4 6-3.
”Winning a grand slam is not easy but knowing that you have actually done that certainly gives you confidence,“ said Stosur. ”Then when you do come back each year and you feel like you’re playing well, it’s a nice thing to kind of feed off.
“But there is no guarantee ... you have to keep working on it and not take anything for granted and know that it’s a new match and a new day and a new opponent and everything else.”
Editing by Larry Fine