In the first set, MJMS was making everything. She was great up at net, drop volleys in particular came off every time. Her BH was solid as a rock, the FH not so much but still not a weakness. Stosur on the other hand, had no game plan early. She had no direction in her shots at all, just hard and up the middle, while MJMS had great length on the BH and good angles off both wings. Stosur, despite MJMS coming to net on most points, failed to hit one successful lob. She also tried at every opportunity to run around the second serve of MJMS and hit a FH return. One of three things would happen here.
1) She would start to move to her left too early, and MJMS would actually serve to the FH, either acing Stosur, or making her return with a weak FH, sometimes a FH slice.
2) MJMS would serve with enough pace that Stosur wouldn't run around it successfully and have to hit a cramped FH, short and loopy, sometimes put away by MJMS, but it always gave her control of the point.
3) She would successfully run around the FH, only to hit it hard and up the middle, leaving the point neutral.
MJMS ran away with the first set with little trouble.
In the second, Stosur began to better direct her groundstrokes. She began to take the pace off her returns, dipping them at the feet of MJMS, which she struggled with. During a rally, she was targetting MJMS's FH over and over, breaking it down. I don't know if the heat or sun going over the court had anything to do with it, but MJMS seemed to wilt. Her net game deserted her, and her FH became very passive almost moonballing, allowing Stosur to take another crack at it. Stosur's serve was telling in close games, and made sure she kept her early lead and maintained the pressure on MJMS's service games. MJMS was rarely serve volleying at this stage, and probably coming into the net a quarter of the time that she was during the first set. Stosur saved 4 BP's in one game early in the third, allowing her to keep the momentum and she raced to a 2-6 6-1 4-1 lead. She served for 5-1, leading 40-15 and then she began to rush her shots. Missing easy FH's. Pulling the trigger way too soon. MJMS started to come to the net again, making Stosur panic even more. Got it back to 4-3, but Stosur pulled out a good service game for 5-3. Epic game at 5-3. 10 Deuces. MJMS saved several MP's, and impressively too. Stosur saving BP's in the final game, so much tension, but she closed it out with kicker to the MJMS FH, drawing the error.
The difference today was Stosur's ROS rather than her serve. She stepped it up after that first set, made MJMS pull out better volleys which she was unable to do. MJMS retreated, and Stosur picked on the FH over and over, getting short ball after short ball. Chance after chance, and fortunately she took enough of them. Well done, Sam.