OSAKA (AFP) – Big-serving Australian Samantha Stosur retained a title for the first time in her career yesterday with a resounding 7-6, 6-3 victory over Zarina Diyas in the Japan Women’s Open final.
Top seed Stosur, who has struggled to hit the heights since winning the US Open and reaching a career-high fourth in the world in 2011, was pushed hard in the first set by the fifth-seeded Kazakh, taking it on a tiebreak 9-7.
But Stosur, currently ranked 18th in the world, found her range in the second set to capture her third Japan crown and a sixth singles title on the WTA Tour without dropping a set all week.
Stosur, a French Open finalist in 2010, broke a title drought stretching back to July last year in Carlsbad, California. The 30-year-old also reached the semi-finals in Beijing last week where she was beaten by Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.