In all the four previous meetings of Venus Williams and Samantha Stosur, Williams was the winner in straight sets, while Stosur's maximum was to win four games in a set, which happened only on one occasion. Today in the quarterfinals of the Family Circle Cup, Stosur quickly equaled those four games in a set, and then straightforwardly won the opening set, before working her way to a 6-3 4-6 6-3 victory in two hours and 41 mintutes. Stosur's triumph means that there will be no all-Williams showdown in the semis.
The victory is even bigger for Stosur as she played another match today before the quarterfinal, another three-setter, against Galina Voskoboeva, which was continued from 4-2 15-0 in the first set. Stosur won 6-3 4-6 6-2 in two hours and two minutes.
Stosur pretty comfortably won the first set against Williams, by breaking the American in the sixth game, for 4-2, and not having any break points against herself in the entire set.
The second set was a more complicated story. Stosur started it off with a break, but Williams rebroke immediately, and the same pattern happened in the next two games, until 2-2. From that moment, Williams was on a roll, winning three straight games to lead 5-2. Even though she did eventually win the second set, it came only after Stosur approached Williams to 5-4 and survived two set points in the six deuces played. Crucial for the upgrade of Williams' game was her rise in the first serve percentage – from 53% in the first set to 77% in the second set. Stosur's percentage decreased from 74% to 63%.
In the third set, Stosur broke for 3-2 and that proved to be the game which shifted the direction of the match to Stosur's side.
Stosur's opponent in the semifinals of Charleston will be Serena Williams, who advanced when tearful Sabine Lisicki retired with left ankle injury in the first set. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)