Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stosur Follows Men's Route in Her Battle to Be the Leading Lady; Australian's Unique Style of Play in the Women's Game Has Put Her within Sight of Her First Slam Title. by Chris Jones in Paris

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stosur Follows Men's Route in Her Battle to Be the Leading Lady; Australian's Unique Style of Play in the Women's Game Has Put Her within Sight of Her First Slam Title. by Chris Jones in Paris

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

live it. I need to keep going and work like I did for many years. I am really happy to be here and will go on the court and I will fight ." In today's men's semi-finals Robin Soderling was taking on Tomas Berdych before Jurgen Melzer faces overwhelming title favourite Rafael Nadal.

Away from Roland Garros, Britain's Alex Ward defeated fourth seed and four-time ATP Tour winner Taylor Dent 7-5, 0-6, 7-6 (10/8) at the Aegon Championships in Nottingham. "I've never played a match quite like that," said the 20-year-old.

SAMANTHA STOSUR'S "man's game" could see her end Australia's 30-year wait for a women's Grand Slam champion here tomorrow. The seventh seed goes into the French Open Final against Francesca Schiavone as the most successful player on clay this year and having already accounted for Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic at Roland Garros.

Now, Stosur has the skill and confidence to repeat Evonne Goolagong's 1980 Wimbledon triumph while Schiavone will become the first Italian woman to win a Slam if she finds a way of negating what Jankovic describes as the Australian's "man's game".

Besides possessing an impressive set of arm muscles, Stosur's game features aspects of play normally seen in men's matches and has powered her to 20 wins this season on the most demanding surface in tennis.

"To be honest, Samantha has almost the game of a man -- that's what it feels like," said Jankovic.

"When I look at how the men play, she has a very good kick serve, which not many women have and she runs around the forehand.

"She has improved so much and mentally she's much better because that was, maybe, one of her weaknesses.

"I think Samantha has a very big chance because she has played so well and has beaten the favourites for this tournament. She has a good chance and I think she'll do it."

Stosur, born four years after Goolagong's Wimbledon win, agrees that her style of play -- including that kick serve -- sets her apart from the rest of the women's game. …

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