Retiring Sam Stosur just got a standing ovation at the Australian Open

sam stosur australian open farewell singles retiring retirement
Image: Nine

Retiring Australian tennis great Sam Stosur has received a standing ovation at the Australian Open after playing her last singles match.

On Thursday afternoon, the Queensland tennis legend lost in straight sets to Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Last month, Stosur was granted a wildcard entry to play her 20th home grand slam event, the most by any female Australian player. The 37-year-old announced her singles retirement last month.

After a win on Tuesday, Thursday’s match at Kia Arena in Melbourne Park was Stosur’s last ever major singles game. She’ll still play doubles for the rest of the season.

“I have done more than I ever thought was possible,” she said, to a standing ovation.

“I dreamed of winning a grand slam and doing the things I did. To do what I dreamed of as a little kid is phenomenal.

“I couldn’t have asked for more.

“I’ve had many great moments here in Australia and around the world. It’s been amazing.”

In recognition of Sam Stosur’s career, Tennis Australia played a tribute video at Kia Arena.

In it, Aussie tennis stars including Ash Barty and Ajla Tomljanovic called her a “humble” Australian tennis leader “at the very top of our game” and “a true champion, on and off the court”.

Retiring Sam Stosur’s emotional tribute at the Australian Open

Sam Stosur, who reached No 1 in doubles in 2006 and No. 4 in singles in 2011, famously beat Serena Williams in the 2011 US Open final.

Between 2008 and 2017, she spent 441 consecutive weeks as the top-ranked Australian singles player – male or female.

She also represented Australia at a record five Olympic Games.

“Thank you to everyone who’s been along with me over the 20 years,” Stosur said on Thursday.

“The coaches, they know who they are. They’ve all helped me in some way on and off the court, shaped me into the person I am.

“The family – they are all down there now – mum and dad, my brothers. [Thanks] for giving up everything early on, driving me to tournaments on the weekend, getting dragged along for Sam’s tennis.

“But I think it was all worth it. Thanks for giving everything you’ve got as well.

“Obviously my partner, thanks Liz, standing by me and getting me through the hard times and also the good times.

“Little Evie at home, I hope you’re awake. I say hello to you.

“Everyone on the sidelines, I’ve had a great time. Thanks for all being here. I love you all.”

Sam Stosur became a mum in 2020

Sam Stosur’s partner Liz Astling gave birth to daugher Genevieve – nicknamed Evie – during lockdown in 2020.

Stosur came out on social media in 2019, after winning the Spirit of Tennis award. The tennis later shared the moving backstory behind the coming out moment.

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