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Aussie tennis legend Sam Stosur reveals the biggest regret of her glittering 24-year career

Aussie tennis legend Sam Stosur reveals the biggest regret of her glittering 24-year career… and it’s not the big Grand Slam you think

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Samantha Stosur has revealed the biggest regret of her celebrated tennis career – and that’s not what most fans would think.

Stosur retired Saturday night, blissfully content after fulfilling her childhood dream of winning a grand slam singles crown with a memorable victory over Serena Williams at the 2011 US Open in New York.

The 38-year-old is also the only Australian woman since the legendary Evonne Goolagong Cawley more than half a century ago to claim major titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles – all forms of the professional game.

Sam Stosur retired from tennis on Saturday evening at the age of 38 in Melbourne

Her place among the pantheons of Australian greats is secure.

For all her accomplishments, it’s no secret that the one-time world No. 4’s biggest lament is still not winning a French Open singles crown.

It’s just that losing the 2010 title match at Roland Garros to Francesca Schiavone, after saving match points against Williams in the quarter-finals and knocking out fellow world No. 1 Justine Henin and Jelena Jankovic en route to the final, isn’t Stosur’s biggest disappointment in Paris.

Nor lost semi-finals in 2009, 2012 and 2016.

The Australian won the 2011 US Open after beating Serena Williams in a memorable final

The Australian won the 2011 US Open after beating Serena Williams in a memorable final

The Australian won the 2011 US Open after beating Serena Williams in a memorable final

No, Stosur’s fourth-round defeat to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko remains her most heartbreaking regret.

With an eight match winning streak on clay, Stosur raced to a 4–0 lead against Ostapenko within 12 minutes before disaster struck.

The then title favorite suffered a stress fracture in her right racket hand, lost the match and was never the same player again.

“In the final you have a real chance to win, but Schiavone played too well that day and I was not able to produce the tennis I did the round before against Henin or Serena or Jankovic,” Stosur recalled to AAP .

Stosur lost in the quarterfinals of the 2017 French Open to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko (above) after breaking her right hand while leading 4-0.

Stosur lost in the quarterfinals of the 2017 French Open to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko (above) after breaking her right hand while leading 4-0.

Stosur lost in the quarterfinals of the 2017 French Open to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko (above) after breaking her right hand while leading 4-0.

‘That’s how it goes. But definitely playing Ostapenko when I broke my hand and I didn’t realize when I was a set up that was absolutely crushing.

“I haven’t played for five months and probably came back too early. Every year since then, when I stepped onto a clay court and started practicing, I felt the same pain in my hand.

“So that one really hurt and to go down like that and with such an obscure injury, yeah, that was tough.”

Even if she had somehow beaten Ostapenko, Stosur had “no chance” of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

The Australian lost the 2010 Roland Garros final to Francesca Schiavone (right).

The Australian lost the 2010 Roland Garros final to Francesca Schiavone (right).

The Australian lost the 2010 Roland Garros final to Francesca Schiavone (right).

“I couldn’t even cut an avocado,” she said.

Yet she still has no idea how the injury came about.

“I felt some knuckle pain in doubles a few days before, went to the doctor, got scans and they weren’t even sure,” said Stosur.

“But they said there was nothing in it they could do and no one was really worried that I would make it worse.

Stosur teamed up with China's Shuai Zhang to win the 2019 Australian Open women's doubles

Stosur teamed up with China's Shuai Zhang to win the 2019 Australian Open women's doubles

Stosur teamed up with China’s Shuai Zhang to win the 2019 Australian Open women’s doubles

“But when I went out and played, and as the game went on, I was in pain.

“I won the first set but I was in tears when I called the coach, I’ve never been in so much pain.

“Then all of a sudden I was running around my forehand to hit backhands, something I never do.

“In the end I lost 6-4 in the third and it was a very painful game. Turns out I had an injury rarely seen in a tennis player. I still don’t even know why.’

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