Samantha Stosur is shedding tears, especially from her mother, when the moment arrives at the Australian Open later this month.
The 37-year-old announced last week that her 20th Australian Open campaign would mark the last appearance of the 2011 US Open champion on the tour.
It will close the book on a remarkable career that includes not only that famous Flushing Meadows defeat of Serena Williams, but another French Open singles final appearance a year earlier and three more semi-final appearances on Roland Garros for the former world No.4 .
A double crown at the US Open last year – one in seven in women and mixed – was enough to convince her to go with that hairdresser for at least another year.
She has only ever reached the fourth round in a more flattering Australian Open record, but Stosur said bending out on home ground in singles was always the plan.
“It feels a little different to be my last; I just want to enjoy the moment, be out, have some fun and aim to play well,” said Stosur, who will be playing at the Melbourne Summer Set. of the week.
“If I win big, if I lose, then it will be, it does not matter, no pressure.
“The biggest thing will be my own expectation to play well, to do what I want to do, that’s a unique position to be in.”
She does not deny that her last solo walk to the net, however, will not be emotional.
“I’ll be a blubbering mess … I know there will be tears, but it’s not going to stop,” she said.
“It’s been a big part of my life, something I’m very proud of.
“I’ll look in the stands and I’ll probably see my mother crying and I’ll definitely be gone.”
Stosur has never dominated on home soil like she did on the Paris clay or American hard courts, but her influence on Australian tennis will remain historic.
The top ranked Australian singles player – male or female – for 441 consecutive weeks between 2008 and 2017, Stosur was ranked in the top 25 for nine consecutive years.
Many of today’s emerging Australians give credit for their success, something that has not gone unnoticed by the humble veteran.
“Things like that make you feel good,” she said.
“I had my idols when I was growing up, so to think I might be that for some other players now is a special place to be.”