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Stosur and Shuai Through to AO Women’s Doubles Final

Sam Stosur has a chance at Australian Open redemption from two sources.

She and doubles partner Zhang Shuai of China got past two Czech women in a three-hour match, much to the delight of fickle tennis fans who want to see matches go on as long as possible in most instances.

Stosur and Shuai are through to the final.

The last Aussie woman tennis player to appear in a doubles final was Ash Barty in 2013, playing with Aussie Casey Dellacqua. They were beaten by the Italian pair of Sarra Errani and Roberta Vinci.

The last Australian woman to claim a doubles title was Alicia Molik in 2005, when she teamed with a Russian to beat a pair of Americans.

The last time a pair of Australian women won the doubles title was in 1977, when Evonne Goolagong Cawley teamed with Helen Gourlay Cawley (no relation) to beat a team comprised of Australian Kerry Melville and American Mona Guerrant.

Stosur and Shuai were on the back foot early in the match, down five games to one before saving multiple set points and winning six consecutive games to take the set 7 – 5.

The Czech women, Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova, did not surrender after seeing the first set slip away, winning the second six games to four.

Another nail biter followed, with neither team able to hold serve. Stosur and Shuai eventually went up two match points at 6 – 5, converting the second to secure the berth in the final.

They will face two high seed in Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France.

If Stosur and Shuai can prevail, it will be Stosur’s first Grand Slam win in eight years. Shuai is certainly not a weak link. She has gotten far in doubles and mixed doubles on numerous occasions. She is currently ranked no. 42 in singles and no. 33 in doubles.

Stosur’s current ranking in singles is no. 75 and no. 69 in doubles, so the argument could be made that it is Shuai who can return Stosur to a Grand Slam win.