Stosur of Australia serves ball to Czech Cetkovska during their WTA Qatar Open tennis match in Doha
In another quarterfinal, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka defeated Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-0, 6-4 for her 15th straight win.
After losing in the first round of her home Australian Open, Stosur has won three straight matches in Doha.
“It’s a really good feeling,” she said. “I guess it’s still only February, so to bounce back relatively quickly is always pleasing.”
Stosur took a 5-0 lead en route to winning the first set. But Niculescu broke Stosur twice to go up 4-1, and closed out the set to even the match. Niculescu uses lots of spin and plays with a two-handed backhand and forehand. She also was more aggressive, winning many of her points at the net and serving better.
Stosur regained the momentum in the third, leading 3-0 only to see Niculescu take advantage of errors to pull even at 3. But with Stosur serving at love-30 in the seventh game, Niculescu failed to take advantage. She missed an easy volley to let Stosur back in the game and then Stosur hit a forehand into the corner to go up 4-3. She ran off the final two games.
“For sure, I got off to a really good start and wasn’t, you know, under too much pressure at all,” Stosur said. “Then early in that second set, I feel like I missed some of those opportunities.
“I think it’s one of those matches where, when you are in control, you have to keep going and keep going and keep going.”
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