Stosur survives, reaches Prague semis
Sam Stosur dug out a gritty victory over Barbora Strycova to advance to the semis of the WTA Banka Prague Open, where she'll face top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Sam Stosur is through to the semifinals of the WTA Prague Open after seeing off local favourite Barbora Strycova in three sets.
The fourth-seeded Australian prevailed 6-3 6-7(3) 7-6(4) against the Czech after seeing two match points slip at 5-4 in the final set, and another at 6-5, before prevailing in the tiebreaker.
It was her first win over Strycova after falling to the Czech in their only prior meeting at the Apia International Sydney 2015.
“It was a really tough match. I was a set and a break up and then played a really bad game and that almost gave her something extra, and then she really picked up her level,” Stosur said.
“It was a really tight third set obviously; I had some match points earlier in the set but she came up with some great service games to get back. Yeah, it was tough.”
A packed crowd willed Strycova on during the two-hour, 55-minute match, which Stosur likened to a Fed Cup atmosphere.
“It was kind of tough. It doesn’t usually bother me – just sometimes it gets more tiring rather than frustrating. It’s easy to have those dips when you feel like everything is going hard against you,” she said.
“Look, that makes tennis fun. I understand we’re in the Czech Republic, so (their players) deserve to have good crowd support.”
She’ll now face No.1 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova – who beat Puerto Rican Monica Puig in the quarters – for a place in the final.
“Sveta I think is one of the best claycourters going around. We’ve had some really tight matches,” Stosur said.
“No matter what I’m going to have to play really well to get through.”
Second-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova extended her resurgence by fighting past unseeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan 7-6(3) 7-5.
Safarova hadn’t won a singles match this season before claiming three in a row in Prague, and will now face defending champion Karolina Pliskova, who cruised past Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-2 6-1.