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Sam Stosur beats Jelena Jankovic to reach Paris final

French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Date: 23 May-6 June
Coverage:
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

Sam Stosur

Highlights - Stosur storms to final

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Australia's Sam Stosur stormed into her first Grand Slam final with a crushing win over fourth seed Jelena Jankovic at the French Open.

The 26-year-old from Brisbane followed up earlier wins over pre-tournament favourites Justine Henin and Serena Williams with a 6-1 6-2 demolition of Jankovic in 60 minutes.

Stosur will play Francesca Schiavone for the title on Saturday after the Italian became the first woman from her country to reach a Grand Slam final when Elena Dementieva retired from their semi-final.

"I probably couldn't have asked to play a much better match today in the semi-finals," said Stosur. "So to do that today and now be in my first final is just incredible.

"I was expecting a tough match, and I was prepared for that. When things were going the way they were I didn't doubt it for a second or wonder if I could keep it up, was it going to turn around?

The whole time I didn't really have a rhythm - Samantha played really well, she served really well, but I felt quite heavy on my feet

Jelena Jankovic

"I just kept playing the next point. That never really entered my mind at all."

With all four semi-finalists chasing a first Grand Slam title, and Henin and Williams now absent, the golden opportunity to win a major brought an added level of pressure.

It has been Stosur who has grabbed the headlines in Paris and the momentum going into the match appeared to be with her after claiming such illustrious scalps.

Jankovic had made a more low-key passage through the draw, but the Serb is a former world number one and three-time semi-finalist at Roland Garros with recent wins over both Williams sisters at the Italian Open.

Any thoughts that Stosur might suffer an emotional hangover from those high-profile victories was swept away within 24 minutes as she broke twice to roar through the opening set.

Twelve Stosur winners to none from Jankovic told of the Australian's dominance and the Serb needed to put the brakes on her opponent quickly or risk an embarrassingly swift exit.

The early stages of the second set were at least competitive after Jankovic arrowed a forehand past Stosur at the net to break to love for 2-0, only for her to hand the advantage straight back in the following game and then miss four break points in game four.

606: DEBATE

Stosur had survived wobbles in her previous two wins and her growing experience of high-pressure matches came to the fore as she sent a backhand dipping towards Jankovic's feet and calmly clipped away the resultant short ball for a break at 3-2.

Much of the reason Jankovic had got back into the match at all was down to the disappearance of the Stosur first serve early in the second set, but the Aussie came through a testing moment with a superb kicking second serve at 30-30 and held to edge 4-2 clear.

Jankovic's forehand was now all over the place and it gave up three chances for Stosur to get the double-break, which she finally did after the Serb netted a backhand.

Stosur is now well accustomed to closing out major matches and she did so comfortably to become the first Australian woman to reach a Grand Slam final since Wendy Turnbull at the 1980 Australian Open.

I think I just tried once I was ready to go on court to calm down, take a few deep breaths and not feel rushed or panicked

Sam Stosur

Jankovic admitted she had completely failed to get going in the match, suggesting the abrupt ending to the first semi-final might have had an effect.

"The whole time I didn't really have a rhythm," she said. "Samantha played really well, she served really well, but I felt quite heavy on my feet. I didn't really move out there.

"I'm angry, it's not easy to lose like this, but it's the way the game goes. I just have to stay positive and I will have another chance."

She added: "I started the match kind of cold because the first match finished quickly, so we had like 10, 15 minutes to get ready. I got into the match quite cold and I had a tough time moving."

Stosur too had been caught off guard by the early start, saying: "I was definitely surprised that it was over so quick. I wasn't totally ready.

"I was still getting my ankle taped as Elena was walking off the court, so quickly finished that and got organised.

"I think I just tried once I was ready to go on court to calm down, take a few deep breaths and not feel rushed or panicked because we were going on earlier than expected."



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see also
French Open day 12 as it happened
03 Jun 10 |  Tennis
French Open day 12 photos
03 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Dementieva quits French Open semi
03 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Grand Slam men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Grand Slam women's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis


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