Australia's Sam Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion, won her 500th career singles match victory Tuesday, defeating France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-2 at the WTA and ATP Washington Open.
The 31-year-old second seed from Brisbane needed only 64 minutes to improve to 4-0 against Mladenovic and book a second-round date with American Irina Falconi. "My serve set me up. There weren't a lot of long rallies. Bing. Bang. It was over," said Stosur, who had no clue about the landmark win total until well after the victory. "Now that I know, [it feels] really good," Stosur said of her milestone triumph. "Five hundred is a lot of matches. Nice to make that and know you have had a pretty big career." The top Aussie on the all-time women's match win list is Evonne Goolagong Cawley with 695. In pondering her all-time top triumphs, Stosur went directly to her US Open title, which she won by defeating current world number one and 21-time major champion Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3 in the final, four years ago at Flushing Meadows. But also drawing her attention was a three-set US Open semi-final win over Germany's Angelique Kerber, a three-set thriller over Russian Maria Kirilenko in the round of 16 and a third-rounder over Nadia Petrova she took 7-5 in the third after splitting two tie-breakers. "Obviously the US Open has been the highlight, not just the final - a couple matches in there were really tight," Stosur said. "And maybe the first time I won a final back in Osaka. That Osaka title came in 2009 with a finals win over Italy's Francesca Schiavone and after Stosur had recovered from Lyme disease, which sidelined her for parts of the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. "A few matches I lost have been memorable," she said. "There have been a lot of great moments. I've had those highs along the way and lows as well." Stosur, ranked 21st, is coming off her second title of the year, and the eighth of her career, on the Austrian clay at Bad Gastein. "It's a nice feeling to play well in those moments, in the finals," Stosur said. "Winning tournaments, wherever they are, gives you a boost." She also won on clay at Strasbourg in May but makes her first visit to the US capital event to start her US Open preparations. "I'm feeling good," Stosur said. "It's nice to get back on the hardcourts again." In other results Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia lost to Britain's Naomi Brady 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8/6).
Groth, Hewitt advance in men's draw
In the men's event, Australians Sam Groth and Lleyton Hewitt progressed into the second round with victories on Wednesday (AEST). The big-serving Groth defeated Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci in three sets, 7-6 (10/8), 4-6, 6-3, in just under two hours. Hewitt, who won the Washington title back in 2004, won an all-Australian clash with qualifier John-Patrick Smith 6-3, 6-4. Hewitt saved nine of 10 break points on his own serve and converted three out of six opportunities on Smith's serve. Hewitt will now play Spain's Feliciano Lopez, who received a first-round bye. Groth will face Serbian Viktor Troicki, who also received a bye. James Duckworth bowed out in the second round when he went down to second seed Kei Nishikori 6-7 (8/6), 6-1, 6-4. Bernard Tomic in the second round will play American Steve Johnson, who accounted for Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 7-5, 6-3. Meanwhile Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic cruised into the second round of the WTA Stanford Classic in California. Tomljanovic conceded the opening set to Vitalia Diatchenko but then dominated the Russian in a 3-6, 6-0, 6-0 victory on at the hardcourt tournament.