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Stosur prevails in 1st round marathon match in Sydney

January 12, 2015

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s Samantha Stosur overcame her home-crowd jitters to rally for a 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-3 win over Lucie Safarova in the first round of the Sydney International on Monday.

Stosur has long struggled to match her other Grand Slam results — including a win at the 2011 U.S. Open — at her home major, the Australian Open, as well as other tournaments Down Under.

Last week, she fell to American Varvara Lepchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the Brisbane International after leading 5-1 in the third set. She has also lost four times in the first round at Sydney and had a mediocre 7-7 record at the tournament before Monday’s three-hour victory.

Little separated Stosur and Safarova in a back-and-forth match. Safarova saved eight of nine break points in the first set and Stosur six of seven before the set headed to a tiebreaker, which Stosur won with a series of emphatic groundstrokes after saving three set points.

Stosur then rallied from 4-1 down in the second set to level the score at 5-all before Safarova broke her for a third time to even the match.

Stosur then saved three break points to take a 3-2 lead in the deciding set before breaking Safarova again when the Czech player double faulted on back-to-back points.

“It was relatively important win,” Stosur said. “I gave it everything and it was great to have the home support.

“It was good to step up and win the match after what happened last week, and I am very happy with it.”

In other matches on the women’s side, sixth-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia beat Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine 7-6 (1), 6-2 and Garbine Muguruza of Spain beat Sara Errani of Italy 6-0, 7-5.

At the Hobart International tournament in Tasmania, third-seeded Camila Giorgi of Italy overcame 23 double faults to beat Australian wild card Storm Sanders 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (6) in a 2 hour, 20 minute match, while second-seeded Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-3, 6-4.

Adrian Mannarino of France beat Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-1, 6-1 at the ATP Tour’s Heineken Open in Auckland in the first match of a main draw gutted by the late withdrawals of defending champion John Isner, top seed David Ferrer and France’s Gael Monfils.

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