By Chris Oddo/ Sunday, October 13, 2013
Sam Stosur took the Osaka title with a strong finish to edge Eugenie Bouchard, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Photo Credit: AP
For a long while, it looked like 19-year-old Eugenie Bouchard was headed for a milestone victory in Osaka, but the experience and high-octane game of Sam Stosur took center stage to foil Bouchard's best laid plans down the stretch.
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Stosur defeated Bouchard to win her fifth career title, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, improving her record to 19-3 at the HP Open in Osaka, and becoming the first player in the tournament's history to win the event twice.
For Stosur, who had to reel off seven of the last eight points of the second set to finally gain a foothold in the match, the victory also marks the first time that the 29-year-old Aussie has won two titles in the same season.
"I thought Genie played very well,” Stosur said. “She had a game point at 5-all in the second set and went for a drive volley and missed it wide. Then I played a very good service game to win the set.”
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After Bouchard, who is the highest-ranked teenager on the WTA Tour, held serve in the first game of the third set, Stosur went on another tear to all but clinch the match, winning four straight games for a 4-1 lead.
Moments later she would seal the title with a well-struck crosscourt forehand on match point. It was one of many impressive forehands lashed by Stosur during the final, and she used it to great effect on the return, earning 15 break points of which she converted seven.
Bouchard, who reached her first career final in Osaka, also had success with her return, converting six of eight break points, but in the end it was Stosur's experience and firepower that put her over the edge.
“I'm disappointed because I always want to win,” she said. “But I'll take the lessons from this and keep working hard.”
Stosur also played the doubles final on Sunday, pairing with Zhang Shuai and falling in defeat to Kristina Mladenovic and Flavia Pennetta, 6-4, 6-3.