Samantha Stosur and Sara Errani Reach French Open Semifinals

Australia's Samantha Stosur
Australia's Samantha Stosur hits a return to Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova during their Women's Singles Quaterfinals tennis match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, on June 5, 2012 in Paris. Photographer: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/GettyImages

Samantha Stosur of Australia beat Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets in the quarterfinals of tennis’s French Open in Paris. She’ll meet Sara Errani of Italy, who advanced to a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time.

Sixth-seed Stosur saved three break points to prevent the No. 15-seeded Slovak tying the first set at 5-5 before sweeping to victory. She won 6-4, 6-1. The Australian won the match when Cibulkova hit an attempted drop shot into the net.

Stosur, 28, became the first Australian woman in 31 years to win a major singles title when she beat Serena Williams in last year’s U.S. Open final. She reached the final of the French Open in 2010, losing to Italy’s Francesca Schiavone.

“It’s never easy to come out here, it was very windy and I was playing an opponent who is always going for it,” Stosur said in a televised interview after the match.

“I have to say that she played unbelievable today,” Cibulkova told reporters. “You know, her topspin and her serve, I mean, she played like a man, and it’s really hard to play against a man. It was driving me crazy on the court today. It was really, really hard, really tough.”

Errani won the other women’s quarterfinal 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) against Germany’s Angelique Kerber. The German, the No. 10 seed, led 4-3 in the second set only to allow No. 21 Errani to break back immediately.

A series of service breaks followed as the match went to 5-5 before Errani’s resilience sent the set into a tie-break, which she won 7-2.

‘More Tired’

“In the beginning of the second set I was feeling a bit more tired, but just tried to keep playing like I was playing,” Errani told reporters. “I just wanted to keep fighting every ball, every point.”

Also today, Grand Slam men’s record holder Roger Federer of Switzerland, the No. 3 seed, plays No. 9 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the quarterfinals. Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the world No. 1, meets Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who’s seeded fifth.

Federer’s victory in 2009 makes him the last man other than defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain to win at Roland Garros. Djokovic is trying to become the first man since Rod Laver of Australia in 1969 to hold all four tennis majors at the same time.

The Serb is the reigning Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open champion, yet has never made the final in Paris. No. 2 Nadal, vying for a record seventh French Open men’s title, is currently tied on six with Sweden’s Bjorn Borg.

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