Last-minute wildcard pays off for Stosur


Summary

Samantha Stosur completed a dream French Open build-up with victory over Kristina Mladenovic in the final of the Strasbourg International.

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Third-seeded Stosur recovered from a set down to beat the Frenchwoman 3-6 6-2 6-3 to claim her first WTA title since last October.

Australia’s former Roland Garros runner-up saved multiple break points to solidify a 5-2 advantage in the deciding set before closing out the match after one hour and 55 minutes.

“It was good tennis. She was playing exceptionally well in that first set,” Stosur said.

“I didn’t have too many chances to do anything early on, but I started getting some chances in the second set.

“I started playing a little bit differently, getting in control of the rallies early on, which wasn’t the case in the first set – she was dominating out there – and then I was able to do it the rest of the match and finish it.

“There were some tricky moments in the third set – she had a few points to get it back on serve – but I’m happy I was able to keep it up and close it out, and it’s always nice to win a title, that’s for sure.”

Stosur’s wildcard success leaves her full of confidence heading to Paris, where she opens her campaign against American Madison Brengle on Monday.

The 31-year-old had failed to reach a quarter-final in ten previous attempts in 2015.

But in just her third event since reuniting with former coach David Taylor, Stosur peeled off four straight wins in Strasbourg, including a straight-sets rout of defending champion Monica Puig in the opening round.

“It was a last-minute decision to come here, so to play as well as I did and walk away with the title, it’s exciting and especially going into a grand slam,” she said.

“It’s been a really good week for me in Strasbourg.”

The former US Open champion now has seven WTA titles to her name – two on clay.

She collected her only other claycourt trophy at the Premier-level event in Charleston in 2010.

That year she made it all the way to her first grand slam final at Roland Garros.


Samantha Stosur completed a dream French Open build-up with victory over Kristina Mladenovic in the final of the Strasbourg International.

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Third-seeded Stosur recovered from a set down to beat the Frenchwoman 3-6 6-2 6-3 to claim her first WTA title since last October.

Australia’s former Roland Garros runner-up saved multiple break points to solidify a 5-2 advantage in the deciding set before closing out the match after one hour and 55 minutes.

“It was good tennis. She was playing exceptionally well in that first set,” Stosur said.

“I didn’t have too many chances to do anything early on, but I started getting some chances in the second set.

“I started playing a little bit differently, getting in control of the rallies early on, which wasn’t the case in the first set – she was dominating out there – and then I was able to do it the rest of the match and finish it.

“There were some tricky moments in the third set – she had a few points to get it back on serve – but I’m happy I was able to keep it up and close it out, and it’s always nice to win a title, that’s for sure.”

Stosur’s wildcard success leaves her full of confidence heading to Paris, where she opens her campaign against American Madison Brengle on Monday.

The 31-year-old had failed to reach a quarter-final in ten previous attempts in 2015.

But in just her third event since reuniting with former coach David Taylor, Stosur peeled off four straight wins in Strasbourg, including a straight-sets rout of defending champion Monica Puig in the opening round.

“It was a last-minute decision to come here, so to play as well as I did and walk away with the title, it’s exciting and especially going into a grand slam,” she said.

“It’s been a really good week for me in Strasbourg.”

The former US Open champion now has seven WTA titles to her name – two on clay.

She collected her only other claycourt trophy at the Premier-level event in Charleston in 2010.

That year she made it all the way to her first grand slam final at Roland Garros.