2016 French Open

Stosur steams into French Open semi-final

Sam Stosur, the 32-year-old Australian veteran, has booked her French Open semi-final berth for a fourth time.

Number 21 seed Stosur, who is competing with an injury to her left wrist, saw off world #102 Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets 6-4 7-6(6).

And the Aussie ace is enjoying her love affair with the red clay of Paris, having been successful in all four quarter-final appearances.

Stosur, who had already seen off two former French Open finalists in Czech Lucie Safarova and Romanian Simona Halep prior to her showdown with Pironkova, remains on course to reach her second Roland Garros final.

But she will be aiming to go one step further than her 2010 defeat at the hands of Italian Francesca Schiavone.

With only a single Grand Slam Singles triumph, her 2011 US Open straight sets success over American superstar Serena Willliams, Stosur is ready to rewrite the history books.

And she has already claimed five Grand Slam titles at Doubles, three of them are Mixed Doubles.

But her next opponent Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, the #4 seed.

“It’s going to be a tough one against Garbine, she’s had a great couple of years.”

“She hits the ball hard and flat and she’s very aggressive so I’m expecting a tough one. If I’m not playing my best I will have to find a way and do something that’s going to hopefully put me in a position to do well”, said Stosur.

Eastbourne-bound Stosur made a stuttering start against Pironkova and was soon trailing 4-2. And after saving three break points and taking Pironkova’s service game, the tie was nicely poised at 4-4.

Yet Stosur continued the momentum to win the next two games to conclude the set.

Stosur-shakes-with-Pironkova-rg16

Stosur (right) shakes hands with Pironkova

Pironkova, a semi-finalist at 2010 Wimbledon and often seen as a dark horse on grass, had to be especially resilient with her left thigh so heavily wrapped.

And she looked as though she would force the match into a third set after speeding into a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak.

Stosur refused to buckle under the press and saved two set points, moving from a 6-4 deficit to reel off the next four points and claim a hard fought victory in 107 minutes.

And the Australian made it five wins out of six meetings with Pironkova, her only defeat served up at last year’s Aegon International at Eastbourne:

“I kind of slowed the ball down a little bit and realised that I wasn’t able to hit winners and necessarily get rewarded straightaway in the points so just tried to work it a little bit more. That started working and I was able to get on a bit of a roll then from that point on.”

Pironkova admitted: “Her strokes are not typical, they jump really high.

“She’s also playing on the net. She’s doing slice shots, great serve and she didn’t miss a single overhead.”

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