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Friday, July 3, 2009

Aussie pair in ladies' doubles final

Photo Titled Stosur and Stubbs talk tactics
Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs plan their next move against Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual.
Sam Stosur and Rennae Stubbs will line up against the three-time champions Venus and Serena Williams in the ladies’ doubles final after defeating second seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascal in three entertaining sets.

The fired-up Australian partnership came from a set down to defeat the Spanish pairing - the double French Open winners - 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and seven minutes.

It was the Spanish pairing who got off to the better start, beautifully lobbing their opponents at will and firing frequent return winners. Medina Garrigues and Ruano Pascal took a deserved lead when they gained a break of the Stosur serve in the fifth game after Stubbs netted a great passing shot.

However going behind did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the Australian partnership. The crowd seemed to be enjoying Stubbs' gung-ho attitude as she either berated herself after an error or pumped her fists following a winner. She and Stosur hit back to even up proceedings in the eighth game when a spectacular smash by Stubbs down the centre of the court broke the Ruano Pascal serve. The third seeds then had three opportunities to take the set on the Ruano Pascal serve but she held on after great net play by Medina Garrigues to level at 6-6 and force a tiebreak.

Supported at courtside by former Wimbledon ladies’ singles champion Conchita Martinez, the Spaniards then turned the match in their favour. A solid tiebreak, coupled with two double-faults by Stosur, helped them seal the first set in 51 minutes.

Moving into the second set, the Australians reversed tactics successfully, flooding the net after almost every point. Whereas before they had simply sent points back into play, the third seeds now showed their power and started to put away winner after winner at the net. They quickly raced to a 4-1 lead after two successive breaks of the Spaniards' serves. The two-time French Open winners gained one break back, but it wasn't enough as Stubbs solidly served out the set 6-4.

Moving into the third, Stubbs and Stosur were a joy to watch, showcasing a great display of serve and volley doubles. They looked formidable as they gained breaks in the third and fifth games to seal a comeback victory and set up that clash with the all-conquering sisters.

Court 3 - Ladies' Doubles - Semifinals
Samantha Stosur AUS (3)/
Rennae Stubbs AUS (3)
Anabel Medina Garrigues ESP (2)/
Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP (2)

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