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Sports

Sam Stosur edges closer to elusive home success in Australian Open doubles

The Guardian

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Samantha Stosur is two wins away from her first grand slam title in eight years after reaching the Australian Open women’s doubles semi-final. Playing with China’s Zhang Shuai, the pair upset top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4). The Czech duo are the reigning French Open and Wimbledon champions.

With a career high No 4 ranking in singles, winning the 2011 US Open title, Stosur has two major women’s doubles titles but lost the only final she reached at Melbourne Park in 2006. Her last doubles crown came at the French Open in 2006, partnering American Lisa Raymond.

A first round casualty in the singles at Melbourne Park this year, Stosur and Zhang also made the semi-finals at the US Open last year before losing to Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic.

“They’re a great team – they won two slams last year,” Stosur said. “We did well to come back from a break in both sets.”

The 34-year-old said it would be “amazing” to win at home, where she has been starved of success. “I guess we’re close now, in the semis but it only gets harder here.”

Stosur and Zhang were in trouble, down 5-3, in the second set after Zhang lost her serve to love. However they managed to break straight back with both blasting winners off Siniakova’s serve to level at 5-5.

Stosur saved two break points on her serve before Krejcikova pushed the set to a tiebreak. That was evenly poised at 4-4 before two big Stosur serves secured the win.

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