Tennis

STOSUR STORMS INTO FRENCH FINALS

STOSUR STORMS INTO FRENCH FINALS

(Story courtesy of samstosur.com)

Sam Stosur stands on the brink of becoming Australia’s first women’s grand slam title holder in three decades after cruising through to Saturday’s French Open final. Stosur slaughtered Serbian fourth seed Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-2 in an hour in Paris on Thursday.

Overflowing with belief from seeing off four-time champion Justin Henin and Serena Williams in the previous two rounds, Stosur dominated two-time semi-finalist Jankovic.

The Australian continued to leave the big names in her wake with Jankovic joining four-time champion Justine Henin and 12-time major winner on the Roland Garros scrapheap

Stosur will be the hottest of favourites against Francesca Schiavone in the title decider, the Australian having defeated the veteran in straight sets in their past four meetings, including two on clay.

The Italian progressed in the earlier match on centre court after Russian Elena Dementieva retired from the match after losing the first set 7-6 (7-3) in 69 minutes.

Schiavone, 29, had never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a grand slam before the tournament despite playing at every major since the 2000 US Open.

Australia has not boasted a women’s major winner since Evonne Goolagong Cawley collected her second Wimbledon title in 1980 and no Australian has won a French Open singles crown since Margaret Court in 1973.

There had been some concerns about tiredness creeping into Stosur’s game following two physically and emotionally draining three-set matches against Henin and Williams

And Jankovic enjoyed a 3-1 record with all their matches having been played on hardcourt.

Stosur had won their last encounter in Miami earlier this year and walked on court the favourite on Thursday after capturing the scalps of Williams and Henin.

And she played like one in her second straight semi-final at Roland Garros by grabbing an early break for a 3-1 lead and manhandling Jankovic’s serve.

After serving three faults in a row trying to serve out the set, the Queenslander wrapped it up in just 24 minutes, having won 16 of her 21 points on serve.

The former world No.1 pulled herself together and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second set in the blink of an eye.

But Stosur broke back and even though Jankovic had started working out the Australian’s serve, she could not hold her own against the Australian’s barrage from the back of the court.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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