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Samantha Stosur breaks Aussie drought after winning U.S. Grand Slam

By David Challenger, CNN
Samantha Stosur celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Serena Williams in the 2011 U.S. Open.
Samantha Stosur celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Serena Williams in the 2011 U.S. Open.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • After almost 10 years, an Australian player has secured a Grand Slam tennis title
  • Samantha Stosur beat Serena Williams in straight sets at Flushing Meadows
  • Stosur, who initially made her mark in tennis in doubles, had to overcome serious illness in 2007

(CNN) -- Long considered one of the world's great tennis nations, Australia hasn't seen a Grand Slam title in almost 10 years -- when Lleyton Hewitt won Wimbledon in 2002.

But the Down Under drought has been broken, after Samantha Stosur produced one of the biggest shocks in U.S. Open final history by beating Serena Williams 6-2 6-3 at Flushing Meadows in 73 minutes.

Stosur stuns Serena with straight sets final victory

The win also makes Stosur her country's first female Grand Slam champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon in 1980 and the first Aussie woman to win the U.S. Open since Margaret Court Smith in 1973.

Stosur's best previous effort was last year when she made the women's French Open final. But despite entering that match as a favorite, the 27-year-old was beaten by Italian Francesca Schiavone.

Background

According to Tennis Australia and her official website, Stosur was born in Brisbane, Queensland, in 1984, and started playing tennis at the age of eight.

Samantha Stosur wins US Open
Stosur's moment of triumph

The right-handed player went on her first tour to Indonesia aged 13, and joined the Australian Institute of Sport at 16.

She turned pro in 1999 and first cemented her tennis prowess as a doubles player, reaching the No. 1 ranking in doubles in February 2006, having claimed a series of titles with Lisa Raymond. The Australian-American duo won the U.S. Open in 2005 and the French Open in 2006.

But in 2007 Stosur's health declined -- she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and also contracted viral meningitis. Consequently it wasn't until 2009 that she was again in top form and able to claim her maiden WTA title in Osaka in 2009.

By 2010 Stosur had decided to concentrate on singles and added a second WTA singles title in Charleston before culminating that year with her finals appearance at Roland Garros.

Coached by David Taylor, she's ranked tenth by the WTA, and currently resides in Tampa, Florida.