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Stosur stuns Serena Williams in French Open quarters

French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Date: 23 May-6 June
Live video streamed from 1000 BST on BBC Sport website (UK only) and BBC red button; commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra; also live on Eurosport; text commentary on BBC Sport website Details of BBC coverage

Australia's Sam Stosur

Highlights - Stosur stuns Serena

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Australia's Sam Stosur caused her second major shock in succession at the French Open with victory over world number one Serena Williams in the quarter-finals.

The seventh seed from Brisbane backed up her win over four-time champion Justine Henin in the previous round by saving a match point in a 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 8-6 defeat of an out-of-form Williams.

Stosur, who also reached the last four 12 months ago, will play Jelena Jankovic in the semis after the Serb beat Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5 6-4 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

"It's two great matches back-to-back for me, which is fantastic," said Stosur. "It's not over yet. Now I'm in the semis and I want to definitely try and keep going.

"I made it to this point last year. If I can try and go another set further, then that would be great."

Williams conceded: "She's a good player. I made so many errors and I definitely was nowhere near my best today but she played really well."

After a week of autumnal weather the conditions on Court Philippe Chatrier were markedly warmer and brighter for the opening match of day 11, and Williams made a lethargic start in the sunshine.

(In the) third set, I just tried to hang in there. I waited for another opportunity... and I took it

Sam Stosur

A focused Stosur started superbly as she mixed up her groundstrokes, drawing errors from the American with her sliced backhand, and it was only the erratic Williams serve that saved two break points in the second game.

With the wind picking up, Williams earned two chances to move ahead with some heavy returning in game five but she missed with a forehand on the first, and a great volley was picked off at the net by Stosur on the second.

What followed was a dreadful quarter of an hour for the top seed, who dropped five games in a row to hand over the first set and fall behind at the start of the second.

Both her serve and her backhand were coming apart and, after another two double-faults, Williams found herself at 0-40 in game two before some welcome first serves and a sharp drop volley helped her escape.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion's game continued to disintegrate, however, and there was a sense of inevitability when Stosur finally converted her seventh break point of the second set to lead 5-3 after yet another poor Williams backhand.

But the prospect of another huge victory clearly got to the Australian at 30-30, and Williams earned her first break point of the set before punching away a short forehand to keep her hopes alive.

The excitement of another possible shock had dissipated and the stadium was deathly quiet as the second set came down to a tie-break that Williams dominated to set up a decider.


Neither player was now anywhere near their best and breaks of serve were swapped in a tense start to the decider, but three aces in a row in game five suggested Williams might be finding some form at the right time only for her return to fail her on two breaks points in game six.

Stosur's nerve was tested to the limit as she served to stay in the match, a poor volley and a wild forehand handing Williams a match point, but the American failed to make a forehand pass.

With the score locked at 6-6, Stosur rediscovered her earlier conviction to play a brilliant cross-court forehand winner for two break points, and she hooked a similarly spectacular backhand across the helpess Williams at the net.

For the second time in the match, the Australian served for a place in the last four, and this time she made no mistake as she claimed her second major scalp in three days after two hours and 24 minutes.

Asked how she had felt when in control of the match early on, Stosur said: "I definitely knew it wasn't over. Serena can turn things around very quickly.

"She started serving a lot better and playing a bit more aggressively. I just tried to keep doing the same thing and then got myself in that winning position and lost it.

"Then, third set, just tried to hang in there. I waited for another opportunity... and I took it."

And Williams refused to dwell on the match point she missed, saying: "She hit a good serve. You know, I don't have anything to regret on that point."

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French Open day 11 photos
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Grand Slam men's singles latest
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