Stosur, Azarenka into semis

2012-02-17 19:56
Sam Stosur (File)

Doha - US Open champion Sam Stosur reached her first semifinal of the year by overcoming the unorthodox Monica Niculescu 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 at the Qatar Open on Friday.

In another quarterfinal, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka swept aside Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-0, 6-4 for her 15th straight win.

After crashing out of her home Australian Open in the first round, Stosur has won three straight matches in Doha.

"It's a really good feeling," she said. "I guess it's still only February, so to bounce back relatively quickly is always pleasing. Yeah, it's definitely nice to be on the winning side than not."

Stosur jumped out to 5-0 en route to winning the first set. But Niculescu turned the tables in the second, breaking Stosur twice to go up 4-1 to even the match. Niculescu uses lots of spin and plays with a two-handed backhand and forehand. She also was more aggressive, winning many of her points at the net and serving better.

Stosur regained the momentum in the third, leading 3-0 only to see Niculescu take advantage of errors to level 3-3. But with Stosur serving at love-30 in the seventh game, Niculescu failed to take advantage. She missed an easy volley to let Stosur back in the game and then Stosur hit a great forehand in the corner to go up 4-3. She ran off the final two games.

"For sure, I got off to a really good start and wasn't, you know, under too much pressure at all," Stosur said. "Then early in that second set, I feel like I missed some of those opportunities.

"I think it's one of those matches where, when you are in control, you have to keep going and keep going and keep going."

Azarenka said she played a "perfect set" to go up 6-0 but the second set was much more competitive. The two players traded breaks throughout until 4-4. But then Belarusian ran off the last two games, winning a love service game to close out the match.

"Second set I had opportunities in every single game. I just couldn't really convert them," Azarenka said. "But, you know, it's important the way I finished the second set. It was the same way I started the match."

Read more on:    tennis


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.