Goerges' First Premier Semifinal, Stosur Next
Published April 21, 2011 12:00
STUTTGART, Germany - She hadn't been too happy with her start to the year, but that might all change now. Her clay court game in full swing, Samantha Stosur battled into the semifinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Thursday, pulling off a 26 63 76(3) quarterfinal victory over Vera Zvonareva.
Although she had lost their last five meetings, the No.2-seeded Zvonareva seemed headed for victory early on, breaking Stosur's serve in a nine-deuce opening game and again in the fifth game and riding those breaks to take the opening set. Locked at 3-all in the second set it looked like the Russian was on the verge of closing it out - but her No.5-seeded opponent hung tough.
Stosur won the next three games to push the match to a third set and the two never broke serve again, finally ending up in a tie-break. Stosur raced out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back for her sixth straight win over Zvonareva.
"I'm very happy to get through that one. Coming from a set down, especially against someone like Vera, one of the best players in the world the last year or two," Stosur said. "It's a big confidence booster. I've won two three-setters in a row now, I haven't done that for many months. It's all coming together."
Before this week, Stosur had only reached one quarterfinal all year, causing her to fall from No.4 to No.7 in the rankings over the last month and a half - but she is already projected to go back up to No.6 by virtue of reaching the semifinals.
"Anytime you can go this far in a tournament you've got to be pleased with the result," the 27-year-old said. "At the end of the day I'm focusing on playing good tennis, win or lose. I hope I can do the same thing on Saturday."
There will be no play in Stuttgart on Friday with the Good Friday holiday. "I have a late doubles match today, so I'll probably be sleeping in tomorrow," Stosur added. "I'll have a bit of practice and go for dinner later, the usual day off!"
Stosur's next opponent will be Julia Goerges, who got past Sabine Lisicki in an all-German quarterfinal, 64 64. Goerges is through to her first Premier-level semifinal, and she is also the first German to reach the semifinals here since Anke Huber did so in 1999 - Huber is the Co-Tournament Director here too.
"Sabine is on the right path after her injury, but I was able to play my own game and really concentrated on my serve. It worked," Goerges said. "It's deinitely a good feeling to have this kind of success in front of such a fantastic crowd."
"I gave it my all but there was nothing else I could do. That extra bit of energy was missing. It's a shame," Lisicki stated after the match. "I'm definitely a little proud of myself I got so far at such a big tournament. I gave it 100%. I feel my confidence coming back - I made a giant leap forward here in Stuttgart."
"Sam is a very strong player. She can be really awkward to play against on clay, so I'll definitely be the underdog," Goerges said of Stosur. "Of course it's a bit unusual to have a day off tomorrow, but it's wonderful too."