Back at the site of her greatest victory, Samantha Stosur looked like a champion again, not the player who has often struggled this year. The Australian began the defense of her US Open title Monday with a dominant win, needing 51 minutes to beat 64th-ranked Petra Martic 6-1, 6-1 in the tournament's first match at Arthur Ashe Stadium before rain suspended play.
The last time Stosur played on this court, she stunned Serena Williams in the 2011 final at Flushing Meadows for her first Grand Slam title. But in so many ways, that 6-2, 6-3 victory was starting to feel as if it happened much more than a year ago.
In 2012, Stosur had lost in the first round in front of the home fans at the Australian Open. She lost in the second round at Wimbledon, then again in the first round at the London Olympics.
Sandwiched in between, she made a run to the semifinals of the French Open, but fell apart by committing 21 unforced errors in the third set of her loss to Sara Errani.
Despite her status as defending champion, Stosur, seeded seventh this year, is not considered one of the favorites coming into Flushing Meadows.