Sam Stosur will play the final singles match of her grand slam-winning career at next month’s Australian Open.
The 2011 US Open champion announced on Wednesday that the Melbourne Park tournament would be her last singles event – but she intends to play doubles for at least the rest of next year.
The 2022 Australian Open will be her 20th main draw singles appearance at home, matching fellow home-grown great Lleyton Hewitt.
Stosur played only 11 singles matches this year, including winning a round at the Australian Open and playing in her fifth Olympic Games, and she needed a singles wildcard to enter next month’s tournament.
“I’m so excited and very grateful to play in my 20th AO in a couple of weeks’ time,” she wrote on Instagram.
“A huge thank you to @tennisaustralia for giving me this opportunity to finish my singles career at my home Grand Slam.
“It really means a lot to me to be able to finish in front of my family, friends and Aussie fans who have stuck by me through thick and thin.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a mix of emotions but I wouldn’t want it any other way as I always thought I’d finish playing in Australia.
“I do however plan to play the rest of the year in doubles but this will close the first chapter of my career.”
Stosur reached her career-high singles ranking of No.4 in 2011 and was inside the world’s top 10 for most of the period between 2010 and 2013 but is now the world No.382.
Only world No.1 Ash Barty has surpassed her achievements among Australian women in the past four decades.
Stosur never made it past the fourth round at the Australian Open in her previous 19 appearances, leading to her often being harshly criticised.
But she also reached the 2010 French Open final and was a semi-finalist there three other times, along with two US Open quarter-final runs to go with her 2011 title win over Serena Williams.
That 6-2 6-3 demolition of Williams in the 2011 final at Flushing Meadows was her finest performance, making her the first Australian winner in New York since Margaret Court in 1973.
The match is also remembered for one of Williams’ infamous on-court tirades.
Stosur’s best result at Wimbledon was three third-round showings.
She has also won seven grand slam doubles championships, including four in women’s doubles – the most recent of which came at the US Open in September.