Sam was given the Spirit of Tennis Award at the Newcombe Medal Australian Tennis Awards, and when she took to the stage to thank all those who had supported her, she didn’t mention her partner of three years, Liz Astling.
Deciding as she walked off stage that she was sick of the secrecy, she took to Instagram in the early hours of the morning to add Liz to the list.
“To my Mum, Dad, Daniel and Dom and my partner Liz, you have given me the love, support and every opportunity to pursue my dream and I’ll be forever grateful,” her caption read.
“I was in the car park at the end of the night and something just didn’t feel right because I’d thanked all these people who were obviously very, very important to me, but not my partner,” Stosur told Yahoo Sport in 2020.
“And she is a huge part of what I’ve been able to do. And who I am now. And that just didn’t sit well with me. And I thought, ‘Do you know what? Bugger this, I just want to thank her and I want to do this’,” she explained.
“That’s why I put it on Instagram. As you get older and you’re more mature and you reflect more on things and I thought, you know what, this is who I am.”
The news came as no surprise to Sam’s family and close friends, but going public with the news came with a level of fear of Sam.
“I think just being judged [scared me]; it’s something wrong or, ‘What if they know? They’re not going to like you’. Or, you read about people losing sponsors,” Sam explained on the Ordineroli Speaking podcast.
“You don’t realise that weight until you get it off your shoulders,” she also admitted to Nine.
By that point, Sam and Liz had been together for quite some time.
They met in 2015, when Liz worked as a physical therapist for Australia’s Fed Cup team, and they became a couple in 2016.
While their relationship had become Instagram official, Sam remained to keep it rather private, making it quite the surprise when she announced the arrival of their baby in 2020.
“Life in lockdown during coronavirus has been challenging in many ways but personally it’s been one of the most exciting and happy times of my life. On the 16th of June, my partner Liz gave birth to our beautiful little girl, Genevieve. It has been a whirlwind time, but we could not imagine life without her now,” Sam wrote on Instagram, sharing a picture of herself and Liz with their baby girl.
“Mum and Evie are doing well and it’s so amazing to be home with them both. We are absolutely in love with this little bundle and rolling with the happy chaos. We can’t wait for what’s to come and to watch little Evie grow up... Although not too quickly we hope!” she added.
Sam decided to take the rest of 2020 off to focus on her family.
“Now you've got to think about your family, not just yourself with these decisions, and I think this is the best way for me to spend the next six months is to be at home and be with her,” she admitted to the Herald Sun.
“Even the tougher times don't seem that bad when you just look at her little face and you just want to cuddle her and hold her all day long. It's absolutely incredible,” she admitted of the newborn phase.
However, Sam has since returned to the court and is currently playing in the 2022 Australian Open for the last time. You can catch up on all you need to know about the open here.
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