Aussies go wild over Stosur triumph
SAM Stosur has recovered from her singles heartbreak to win the Australian Open women's doubles title alongside China's Zhang Shuai.
The Aussie star lost in the first round of the singles but yesterday salvaged her tournament with a special 6-3 6-4 win over defending champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic - who have formed one of the best combinations in the world in recent years.
It was a remarkable upset given Stosur and Zhang entered the tournament unseeded, compared to their No. 2 seeded rivals.
The two are extremely close friends and there were moving scenes on centre court as they hugged it out while celebrating their magnificent achievement.
"It's always a pleasure being on court with you. We have a great friendship and I think that really shows when we play," Stosur said.
"We support each other no matter what."
Stosur and Zhang were broken in the first set before they hit back with a break of their own to square things up at 3-3.
The homegrown hero and her partner then upped the ante and won five straight games to claim the opening set 6-3.
The second set started in tight fashion much like the first. Once again the scores hit 3-3 after Stosur and Zhang survived a close shave to hold a crucial service game and keep things level.
They then went one better, breaking their opponents and grabbing a 4-3 advantage. They held onto that buffer and won a thrilling final game to close out the victory on Stosur's serve.
"Oh my goodness, the unseeded Stosur and Zhang are the Australian Open champions," Channel 9 commentator Sam Smith said.
"It's just the most incredible upset. They take out the defending champions Mladenovic and Babos - one of the best teams in the world over the last couple of years.
"It's a huge upset."
Fellow commentator and Aussie great Alicia Molik added: "Zhang is in shock."
The win warmed the hearts of the Australian tennis community as current and former players took to social media to express their admiration.