Stosur sees off Safarova in three sets
Samantha Stosur's Australian Open preparations have received a huge boost after she beat the Czech Republic's world No.16 Lucie Safarova in the first round of the Sydney International.
Samantha Stosur’s Australian Open preparations have received a huge boost after she beat the Czech Republic’s world No.16 Lucie Safarova in the first round of the Sydney International.
Australian No.1 Stosur prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 6-3 in a match that lasted just over three hours on Ken Rosewall Arena at Sydney Olympic Park and ended a run of six successive defeats for the 2014 Wimbledon semi-finalist.
The hard-fought win was a much-needed one for the Queenslander, who crashed out in the first round at Brisbane last week.
She’ll now face world No.4 Caroline Wozniacki or Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic for a place in the quarter-finals.
The left-handed Safarova held a 9-2 advantage in matches between the pair and Stosur had to save three set points before taking the opening set on a tiebreak.
She then hit back from 4-1 down to level the score at 5-all in the second before Safarova broke her for a third time and made it 1-1.
The turning point came in the deciding set when Stosur saved three break points to go 3-2 ahead before breaking the Czech, who double faulted on back-to-back points – allowing the world No.20 to see out the victory
“It was a relatively important win. I gave it everything and it was great to have the home support,” Stosur said.
“Conditions were windy and gusty and the first set seemed to drag on with the rain delays.
“It was good to step up and win the match after what happened last week, and I am very happy with it.”