NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.3 seeds Sam Stosur and Rajeev Ram are through to the US Open mixed doubles semifinals after a closely-contested battle against No.6 seeds Demi Schuurs and Henri Kontinen.
Schuurs and Kontinen led by a break in both sets, but Stosur and Ram found a way to turn around the score in the match tiebreak, saving two match points to edge through, 4-6, 6-4, 14-12.
“There was probably a bit of luck here and there as well in a super-tiebreak like that,” Stosur told wtatennis.com afterwards. “I mean, holding serve is obviously crucial, and thankfully, especially when I was serving and it was tight, at 9-8 or whatever it was, I got two good first serves in.
“I held my own and served great at that time. And then when your partner is serving, it’s just like, ‘Ok just bomb down one and you’ll be fine,’ and then you go from there,” she laughed. “But yeah. Very close, very tense, I think everyone played really well tonight so, yeah, we got through which is great.”
Stosur and Ram didn’t drop a set through their opening two rounds, taking down an all-American duo of Kaitlyn Christian and James Cerretani, 6-4, 7-5, and backing up the win with a 7-6(2), 7-5 battle over Kirsten Flipkens and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the second round.
It’s an already-solid run for Stosur and Ram - a pairing that wasn't even supposed to play together, having joined up by complete coincidence.
“I just happened to be in Accreditation at the same time [Rajeev] was,” Stosur explained. “He was organized to play with someone else, and she hurt herself in qualifying and had to withdraw on him.
“I hadn’t really thought about playing mixed or not here, didn’t have a partner or anything. And he’s like, ‘Hey, do you wanna play mixed?’ And I was like, ‘Uh, give me two hours and I’ll think about it.’ And then I messaged him and said, ‘Yep let’s do it.’
“So it’s as simple as that - the right place at the right time.”
Up next, Stosur and Ram will face the biggest test of their fledgling partnership in the semifinals, as they’re set to take on defending champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray in their next match.
“They’re going to be tough,” Stosur said. “They’re both fantastic players in their own right, and they’ve played together many, many times. So it’s going to be a tough match.
“But we’re playing well too, and I think we’ve got better with every match that we’ve played, which is exactly the way that you want to be going.”