Fiona White at the Warwick courts where she played a 1994 game against new United States Open champion Sam Stosur.
Fiona White at the Warwick courts where she played a 1994 game against new United States Open champion Sam Stosur. Gerard Walsh

Always a champion

SEVENTEEN years ago, Sam Stosur was the only visiting player to arrive in Warwick the day before the Southern Downs Open Age Tennis Tournament for a spot of practice.

Yesterday, she was the last woman standing in the United States Open tennis on a day the world remembered 9/11 10 years ago.

Warwick player Fiona White played Stosur in the 1994 tournament in Warwick.

"Sam was practising on our courts with her parents and coach the day before I played her," White said.

"She was 10 at the time and playing in the under-12 and under-10 age groups."

"Sam was lovely - a great sport and very good at what she did," White said.

"She was tiny with curly blonde hair.

"When I walked off court, I said wow, she is better than anyone I have seen here."

As a player, White recalls Stosur's fabulous serve, amazing forehand and the fact she didn't miss at all.

"I was grateful to get two points. It is nice to think someone I lost against 6-0 6-0 went on to win the United States Open."

White and fellow Warwick player Steven Murray received the trophy for the mixed doubles after Stosur and her partner withdrew from the final to head home in the wake of a severe thunderstorm warning.

"They led 3-0 at the time," White said.

Stosur came to Warwick as a state-ranked junior.

White watched Stosur at the Gold Coast two years ago and reckons the new United States Open winner hasn't changed much.

"She is still lovely on court and a good sport."



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