Cincinnati, USA, 21 August 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Sam Stosur and China’s Zhang Shuai have staged a remarkable comeback to earn their place in the Western & Southern Open women’s doubles final.

Playing their second match of the day, the Australian Open 2019 champions fell behind early in a semifinal clash against Anna Blinkova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

The Russian-Belarusian combination built a 6-4 5-1 lead and had multiple chances to serve for the match. But Stosur and Zhang recovered to win six consecutive games, saving a match point in the process, to level the semifinal at one-set apiece.

“That’s not the first time we’ve been 1-5 down and won the match,” Zhang said. “We just tried to focus on ourselves and be patient.”

From there, Stosur and Zhang maintained this momentum in the match tiebreak to record an impressive 4-6 7-5 [10-5] victory.

“We played really amazing the last couple of games,” Zhang admitted.

It propels 37-year-old Stosur into her first WTA Tour doubles final since March 2019.

Sixth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Luisa Stefani of Brazil await in the final, where Stosur will be aiming to win her 27th career doubles title and first since her Australian Open triumph with Zhang two years ago.

“They are a new pairing. They’ve only just started playing together and are already having some great success,” Stosur said. “But we’ll give it everything we’ve got tomorrow.”

An Australian woman has not won the Western & Southern Open doubles title since 1972, when Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley combined to win the tournament.

Earlier today, Stosur and Zhang had won a three-set quarterfinal battle against fourth seeds Nicole Melichar and Demi Schuurs.

Ash Barty also scored an impressive quarterfinal victory in singles action, defeating world No.10 Barbora Krejcikova in convincing fashion.

> READ: Barty powers into Cincinnati semifinals

Aussies in action – Cincinnati

Women’s singles, quarterfinals
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) d [9] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 6-2 6-4

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
Sam Stosur (AUS)
/Zhang Shuai (CHN) d [4] Nicole Melichar (USA)/Demi Schuurs (NED) 6-3 6-7(5) [10-4]

Women’s doubles, semifinals
Sam Stosur (AUS)
/Zhang Shuai (CHN) d Anna Blinkova (RUS)/Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 4-6 7-5 [10-5]

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
[2] Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Horacio Zeballos (ARG) d Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3 6-4

Women’s singles, semifinals
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v Angelique Kerber (GER)

Women’s doubles, final
Sam Stosur (AUS)
/Zhang Shuai (CHN) v [6] Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN)/Luisa Stefani (BRA)