News24

Stosur books final spot

2012-02-18 20:00

Doha - US Open champion Sam Stosur reached the Qatar Open final on Saturday after Marion Bartoli retired with a right calf injury.

Stosur won the first set 6-3 and had two break point opportunities in the first game of the second set. Bartoli hit a backhand and appeared to wince. She then sought help from the trainer, who examined her calf. Tournament organizers said they were yet to receive word on the exact nature of her injury.

Stosur will face either Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka or Agenieszka Radwanska.

"You always want to win a match playing the full match out and winning match point," Stosur said. "So any player will always take it if you play a set or two sets, but of course in the nature of the sport, you want to be able to finish it."

Bartoli broke Stosur to go up 3-2 but Stosur paid the Frenchwoman in the next game. Stosur hit a powerful forehand into the corner to break for 5-3 and hit an ace to close out the set.

The win was the fourth in a row for the fifth-ranked Stosur, who was coming off a dismal run in her Australia homeland where she was knocked out in the first rounds in Sydney and the Australia Open.

Bartoli said she started feeling the strain in her calf during the third set of her quarterfinal win on Friday against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. She was unsure whether she will play in Dubai next week.

"I knew I was not 100 percent going into the match," Bartoli said. "I couldn't put any weight on it, so it really was hurting me on my serve and on every movement when I was having to change direction and push from the feet. So I think it was really good decision to take (to retire), because the more I was playing, the tighter it was getting."

AP