Stosur cruises into semis
Paris - Australia's Samantha Stosur powered her way into the French Open semi-finals on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.
The US Open champion had too much firepower and experience for the lightweight 23-year-old from Bratislava and she will now face either Sara Errani of Italy for a place in the final.
"It's never easy to come out here, with it windy and playing an opponent who was going for it," said the 28-year-old from the Gold Coast. "She runs very fast and has quick legs.
"The last few years have been good for me in Paris. It doesn't get any better than this."
Both players had previously gone deep into the tournament at the French Open with Stosur reaching the final in 2010, where she lost to Francesca Schiavone of Italy, and Cibulkova the semi-finals the previous year.
With the sunshine back on the Philippe Chatrier centre court after the gloom of Monday, games went with serve until the fifth game when Stosur hit a series of big top-spin forehands that Cibulkova struggled to deal with.
The Australian held to lead 4-2 and made it a double break in the next game with her forehand again proving to be her best weapon.
Cibulkova, the smallest player in the WTA top 100 at 1.61m, hit back immediately to break serve for the first time in the match and then moved to 5-4.
She had three further break points to level at 5-5, but on each occasion Stosur took the initiative in the rallies to deny her. She then hit two more big, looping forehands to pocket the first set.
Cibulkova, who knocked out top seed Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round, again squandered three break points in the second game of the second set and Stosur then turned on the power again to break to 15 in the following game.
Stosur moved 3-1 ahead and when she broke again to get to 4-1, there was no way back for an outgunned Cibulkova.