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September 10, 2011
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
S. STOSUR/A. Kerber
6-3, 2-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Angelique talked a little bit about how the first few games went too fast for her. Did you sense that, or was that a strategy of yours, maybe take advantage of your experience?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, for sure. This was my third Grand Slam semifinal. It was a good thing to have that in your back pocket playing someone who's never been in one before.
If I could get off to a good start, then that was going to be a bonus. I always try and do that anyway, but I guess in a situation like this if you really can get going fast and put your opponent under pressure, that's even better.
Q. What were you telling yourself before the start of the third set? You put yourself into so much adversity already this tournament, and it felt like you were just doing it to yourself again.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I went off, changed my clothes again, and just tried to settle down and really just think about what was going on. That second set did go by pretty fast and really felt like I was under the pump the whole time.
Just tried to, you know, think about what my game plan was, how I was executing in the first set to get that lead. Basically just come out and try and do it again. I knew I had to try and change some things not drastically, just little subtle changes, and if I could get a good start in the third, that was the goal.
Thankfully I did.
Q. You have been out on the court a lot of hours at this tournament. Does it sort of feel that way? Going for the semifinals is a long run anyway, but does it feel like even more than that many matches?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I feel there has been some obstacles to get through this tournament, and to come through the way I have, I'm really proud of myself for that.
And now to be in the final and, I guess getting through those first couple of third and fourth rounds where they were pretty tough matches and I guess having a few days off with rain and now physically feel fine again.
So I guess that's a good thing. But to get through all those things along the way is definitely very pleasing.
Q. How did you feel about playing the semifinal on a Grandstand court of a major?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, well, given the circumstances, I wasn't too impressed with the scheduling the way everything had turned out. I mean, I understand it's a tricky situation, but, you know, I think things could have been done a little bit differently or communication could have been better to express why things were gonna happen the way they happened.
In the end, Grandstand is a fantastic court it was a great atmosphere out there and I loved every second of it. That wasn't the point. I was just trying to stick up for what I thought was the right thing, and unfortunately it didn't happen.
Q. Do you think your opponent will have a significant disadvantage? They haven't gone on yet. If it was flipped, would you feel a little bit of a disadvantage if you were in that scenario?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think obviously now that hasn't turned out the way they wanted it, either, so it's one thing after the other.
So, you know, I felt like we had the disadvantage before this match, considering Caroline and Serena were told they were going on at 8:00 24 hours before we even had a start time and a court.
So everything is kinda gone a little crazy and haywire. I guess, yeah, I will be back in my hotel while they're still playing, which is a good thing. But, you know, it's a final, so everyone's gonna be out there, you know, ready as what anyone can be.
Q. Did it feel like it took away from the semifinal atmosphere compared to your previous experiences at this level?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't know. I guess you always want to play on the big stage. But Grandstand, this was my third match out there now, and every time it's been fantastic. Like I said, I loved every second of it out there. I'm just happy to get through it and now be in the final.
Q. What would a Grand Slam victory mean for you?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it would be an absolute dream come true. It's great that now I've got a second chance to try and win one of these titles. I'll definitely go out there and give it my best shot.
I know it's going to be extremely difficult and I'm going to have to play really well to try and win, but that's what you play for and you want to get into these situations. Just really looking forward to it.
Q. Tomorrow is the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. It's a major final, but how much does that add to it, particularly if Serena is in the final?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I think obviously New York at this time of the year things change obviously. The city feels a little bit different. You know, we all know what happened 10 years ago.
So now to be playing a final on that day, there's gonna be obviously a lot of maybe sadness and everything else. But it's also, you know, a great day for us to be playing the finals.
So like I said, it's a time to remember what happened, but also to maybe get through it. And hopefully we can have a good match.
Q. If you do play Serena, that will be more than a Grand Slam final, though, wouldn't it, at the US Open, New York, 9/11, 10th anniversary?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, sure. I think playing Serena in a final is kind of bigger than maybe most other matches. But obviously home crowd favorite American. It's gonna be a great atmosphere if it's her.
And if it's not her, then it's gonna be fantastic as well. We will see what happens and whoever my opponent ends up being.
Q. You have been through so much, sort of a doubles to singles swing, so to speak, serious injury, the setback in the Roland Garros final, some struggles since. What would it mean to Samantha Stosur to hold up the US Open trophy tomorrow?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, like I said, it would be a dream come true. This is something I've wanted to do since I first started playing tennis. I have been playing for nearly 20 years now, so it's been a long run to try and get to this point again.
Obviously I had that chance at the French Open and wasn't able to take it. You know, now I'm just happy I have given myself another opportunity.
I've got to just go out there and, you know, use a little bit of that experience from last year and really go after it and see what I can do.
But it would be, you know, obviously the major highlight of my career.
Q. Do you have any memories of Patrick's wins here?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I was just saying when I was up in the gym cooling down, I remember watching him and not going to school until his match was finished. You know, I told mum and dad, I'm not going to school until it's done. I'm watching every point of it.
Now it's kind of funny to think I'm now in that situation Pat was in, and maybe there will be kids doing the same thing I did.
Q. What were you doing 10 years ago on 9/11 when the attacks happened here?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I was playing 10,000 events in Japan. I played four of them, and I think it happened during the third event. There was five of us traveling in a group together. One of the other girls called my room and said, Turn on the TV; look what's going on.
We didn't know what was happening. I was 17 years old. We were just traveling around. We were kids really just trying to play tennis tournaments. We went to the courts and saw everything on TV, and obviously all of a sudden going out to a match seemed quite irrelevant.
But, yeah, it was definitely a huge shock. We didn't really know what was happening obviously in Japan. Not too much English information around the place, so we just did our best to find out what was happening.
Q. When you lost the French Open final, did you think, I'll definitely have another chance? Next time I'll get it? Did you worry maybe this is my one chance at this point in my career?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah. Well, for sure because it had never happened up until that point, so you never know if it is gonna happen again. Multiple people came up to me and said, You're gonna get another chance. You can come back and make it again.
Of course you want to believe that, but until it happens, you never know if that's the case. So now to be able to turn it around again and have this result, I guess they were right. Now I have another chance to try and win another one.
Q. It's been 31 years since the last major champion from Australia. Do you think about what it would mean for Australia?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Obviously I went through those records when the French Open happened. Now it's kind of that same thing all over again. So it would be fantastic if I could do that and break that drought and set a new record, I guess.
You know, going out on to the court I'm not thinking about anything like that. Going out there and trying to focus on the next point. If that ends up being the case, then that's great.
Q. You've had victories against Williams and Wozniacki in your career. How do you approach tomorrow? Can you address facing each of them and what is your confidence level?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Obviously I have played both of them, and I think the one good thing is that one of the matches I beat Serena was actually in a Grand Slam.
So I think that's obviously a big, you know, confidence booster if I end up playing her to know that I have been able to do it in a major tournament.
But, you know, every tournament is new, and she's obviously been playing extremely well and wants to -- she comes back, and I'm sure it's always to win Grand Slam titles. It's gonna be tough if it's against her.
And then against Caroline, I don't know what the records are. I think we've had 2-2 or 3-2. But again, if it's her, she's wants to try and get a Grand Slam. There is a monkey on her back and everyone talks about it.
She's going to be to the there to go her best as well. Either way it's gonna be tough. Obviously different games styles, but I will be trying to put forward my best tennis, and hopefully it's gonna stack up.
Q. You're a great professional, known for your hard work. You make this incredible run at Roland Garros, and then, then let's face it, a really devastating defeat. As a professional athlete, what is your take-away lesson from that?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, it was extremely disappointing to obviously lose that match, but I think as time's gone on I have been able to accept that Francesca played very, very well. I probably didn't play my best, but maybe under the circumstances that's why. She played extremely well and it was her day.
So, you know, don't beat myself and think about it anymore. I have taken it for what it is. You can still look back on that tournament as a great achievement. I'm happy with what I did.
So I guess now having been in that position, I want to make sure that I've put everything out there. You know, if there is a shot to be hit I want to hit it. I don't want to hold back and regret anything like that.
I guess just being in a Grand Slam final for the first time is hopefully gonna be harder than the second time and I'll be able to handle it even better.
Q. You mentioned a number of people had said you will get another shot. Have there been any particular words that have gotten through to you from any one individual that made you sort of think, you know...
SAMANTHA STOSUR: You know, I have to be honest. When people were telling me that I just thought it was just kind of words. It's nice to say to someone who's lost a Grand Slam final.
But, no, I think it's one of those things. Every day you go out and practice. Obviously I've got my group around me that are fully 100% behind me and believe in me. And whether it's this tournament or the tournament last week, we always go for the same thing and work hard and do our best.
You know, it's what you play for. You try and do it for these moments. Hopefully, yeah, it goes well. I want to enjoy it and play good tennis.
Q. I think you're gonna watch the match with Serena and Caroline's match. When you watch the match, do you have any specific point you're going to pay attention and try and analyze?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No, not really. I have obviously watched them play many times before and played against them, so I'll just be able to watch for entertainment value more than anything else, probably. I'm sure my coach will be doing more of that analyzing and sorting through things.
But, you know, I pretty much understand their games, I think, and will go out there regardless of pretty much what I see tonight.
Q. You've spoken a bit about what it means to be in the final and what it would mean to win. What does it mean to you to also be in the company of Margaret Court, Evonne, Wendy, the only Australian women to reach this final in the Open era?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it's quite incredible, I guess. But, yeah, Australia has obviously a great history in tennis, men's and women. Since it's gone into the Open era it's gotten even more competitive.
So to now be in that same, you know, round as those guys who were able to win and make Grand Slam finals, it's probably -- I can't even describe it. I guess it's a little bit overwhelming, because it's something I've always wanted to try and achieve. You never know if it's gonna happen if you're thinking about it when you're 10 or 11 years old.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Evonne. She was Fed Cup captain years ago. To have my name up against those women is quite amazing, I think.
Q. The idea of proving a No. 1 by winning a slam title, that monkey on her back, do you think it's deserved or do you think it's unfair?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I think it can be a little unfair for her, because obviously she's No. 1 for a reason. She wins the most matches, wins the most titles throughout the year, and she's a very, very good player. So you can't ever take that away from someone.
She didn't buy her points and say she's No. 1 and she just got there. I think she deserves that ranking. I'm sure if she had a choice to win a Grand Slam she'd want to do it as well. It's not through lack of trying.
At some point she gets rewarded for doing what she does, and she's fantastic at it. She's a great player, and I'm sure one day it will happen. But, you know, it's one of those things I think it can be a little bit of a hard thing to say that someone doesn't deserve to be No. 1, because they're there for a reason.
Q. From a business point of view, a lot of Americans probably never have heard of you until this year. How important is winning this title? It's become a household name for endorsement and business opportunities.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, I guess that's up to my manager to work out how good that's gonna be. But, yeah, I played on tour for a long time. Having made the French Open final, I think anyone who watches tennis probably knew who I was, anyway.
But obviously winning these tournaments is bigger and better than anything else, you know, a player could do, I think. So if I'm able to do that it would be fantastic, and getting this far I'm happy with the result.
But obviously I want to keep going as far as I can.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports