Samantha Stosur took out her fourth WTA Rising Star in a row to win her first WTA title of the year at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, on the eve of the French Open.
WTA Staff

STRASBOURG, France - Sam Stosur scored a big victory for the veterans in Strasbourg, beating four WTA Rising Stars in a row for her first WTA title of the year at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

After finishing 2014 on a high, winning her last tournament of the year in Osaka, Stosur likely wasn't too happy with her 2015 going into Strasbourg, winning back-to-back matches once in 10 events.

It turns out taking a wildcard into Strasbourg was a great idea - Stosur, who was also the No.3 seed at the International-level event, went all the way to the title, beating WTA Rising Stars in all four of her matches. She wrapped it up with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over first-time finalist Kristina Mladenovic.

"It was good tennis. She was playing exceptionally well in that first set," Stosur said. "I didn't have too many chances to do anything early on, but I started getting some chances in the second set. I started playing a little bit differently, getting in control of the rallies early on, which wasn't the case in the first set - she was dominating out there. And then I was able to do it the rest of the match and finish it.

"There were some tricky moments in the third set - she had a few points to get it back on serve - but I'm happy I was able to keep it up and close it out, and it's always nice to win a title, that's for sure.

"It was a last minute decision to come here, so to play as well as I did and walk away with the title, it's exciting, and especially going into a Grand Slam. It's been a really good week for me in Strasbourg."

Stosur now has seven WTA titles to her name, and two on clay - her only other clay court title came at the Premier-level event in Charleston in 2010. That year she made it all the way to her first Grand Slam final at the French Open - will history repeat itself with this, her second WTA clay court title?

What does the Australian - who lost to Italy's Francesca Schiavone in that final - expect this year?

"Who knows," she said. "It's a tournament I've done very well in, it's a tournament I've lost very early in. I've had some really good moments and some really disappointing moments. Grand Slams can throw anything at you - it's always challenging to play a Grand Slam, so I can't take anything for granted."

The doubles title went to No.1 seeds Chuang Chia-Jung and Liang Chen, who rallied from 6-4, 2-0 down and battled two hours to beat No.2 seeds Nadiia Kichenok and Zheng Saisai, 4-6, 6-4, 12-10.

Liang won her third WTA doubles title while Chuang, a former Top 5 doubles player, won her 21st.