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By Chris Oddo | Friday January 25, 2019

 
Stosur and Zhang

Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai captured the women's doubles title in Melbourne, defeating Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos in straight sets.

Photo Source: Fred Lee/Getty

Sam Stosur has finally achieved glory on home soil. The Aussie became just the third player from her country to win the title in Melbourne since 1980 when she and Zhang Shuai defeated Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, 6-3, 6-4.

Stosur, who held match points in the doubles final in 2006 with Lisa Raymond as her partner but eventually fell to Yan Zi and Zheng Jie, said that her friendship with Zhang has been key to the team’s success of late.

"We spend a lot of time together practicing every week, wherever we're at the same tournament,” Stosur said. “I think the friendship, the respect we have for each other is why we can then play so well together. It's just enjoyable. We have fun. We're smiling before every match. We say, ‘All right, let's have some fun, give it our best shot’. We know it's always the way we're going to play our best.”

For Stosur it is her third Grand Slam doubles title and first since 2006. For Zhang it is her first.

"I'm really happy I won the Australian Open in Melbourne with my best friend," Zhang told reporters after hoisting the trophy.


The Aussie / Chinese duo rallied from 3-1 down in the opener, claiming the final five games.

Servers held sway through six games of the second set before Mladenovic was broken in the seventh game.

Stosur served the title out, saving a break point at 30-40 before converting the team’s second Championship point.

 

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