THE BUZZ: Three hours and 16 minutes in the unforgiving heat in Louis Armstrong Stadium were needed for Australia’s Samantha Stosur to eke by Russia’s Nadia Petrova in the third round, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 5-7, on Sept. 2, 2011 – to this date, the longest women’s match in US Open history in the tiebreak era.
THE IMPACT: Theirs was a tremendously even affair. Stosur would commit one less unforced error (44 to 45), while Petrova notched one more ace (seven to six) than her opponent and saved two match points in the second set. Both had five double faults – and a healthy respect for one another after the contest: "I thought it was a really great quality match, I thought we both played really well," said Stosur. "I think at certain times we definitely lifted and there were a few flat moments during the match, but overall we went for it and gave it our best. I'm just glad I came out on top."
Aside from perhaps the marathon second-set tiebreak against another Russian, Maria Kirilenko, in the round of 16, it was the moment of most trepidation for the 27-year-old Aussie en route to her first Grand Slam singles win. Against the heavily-favored Serena Williams in the final, in contrast, Stosur needed just an hour and 13 minutes to cap her amazing run.
THE QUESTION: Where does Stosur’s individual performance in 2011 rank among the women’s title runs in recent memory?