Ninth seed Samantha Stosur reached her second grand slam final with a 6-3 2-6 6-2 victory over Angelique Kerber in the last four of the US Open.
The match was played out on Grandstand court after a controversial bit of scheduling from tournament organisers but, although the pair would not have been happy about it, the length of the men’s clashes on Arthur Ashe meant it was a blessing in disguise.
With Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki not set to begin their match until very late, Stosur could have a priceless advantage with the final to be played on Sunday afternoon.
The Australian, runner-up to Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final last year, began the match as a clear favourite against a player ranked 92nd in the world going into the tournament.
German Kerber had never been past the third round of a grand slam before and had lost in the first round in her previous four but she again proved she has what it takes to be at the business end more often before Stosur’s extra experience told.
Stosur discussed the scheduling with organisers yesterday and hit out at the way the situation was handled, even if it does turn out to be an advantage.
She said: “I understand it’s a tricky situation, but I think things could have been done a little bit differently or communication could have been better to express why things were going to happen the way they happened.
“In the end, Grandstand is a fantastic court, it was a great atmosphere out there and I loved every second of it.
“That wasn’t the point. I was just trying to stick up for what I thought was the right thing, and unfortunately it didn’t happen.
“I felt like we had the disadvantage before this match, considering Caroline and Serena were told when they were going on 24 hours before we even had a start time and a court.
“I will be back in my hotel while they’re still playing, which is a good thing. But it’s a final.”
Stosur believes the experience of having played in a grand slam final before will help her, even though that one did not turn out how she wanted.
The Australian said: “It was extremely disappointing to lose that match but I think, as time’s gone on, I have been able to accept that Francesca played very, very well.
“Now, having been in that position, I want to make sure that I put everything out there. I don’t want to hold back and regret anything like that.”
As she prepares for her first US Open final, the 27-year-old recalled her feelings when she watched countryman Pat Rafter win the title in 1997 and 1998.
The Australian added: “I told mum and dad, ‘I’m not going to school until it’s done. I’m watching every point of it.’
“Now it’s kind of funny to think I’m now in that situation Pat was in, and maybe there will be kids doing the same thing I did.”
Kerber admitted the enormity of the occasion got to her to start with but she went out of the tournament with her head held high.
“It was a close match, the first few games were too fast for me,” said the German. “I came out there and it was everything new for me, so many people and the lights.
“But then I found my rhythm and played my game aggressively. I tried everything that I could today.
“It was a great tournament for me. It’s one of my highlights in my career. I enjoyed the match for sure out there.”