MELBOURNE, Australia – Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai thrilled the night session crowd on Rod Laver Arena, defeating Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in a spectacular Australian Open semifinal between two unseeded pairs that came down to the wire.
Stosur and Zhang move into their third final together following Osaka in 2013 and Hong Kong last year, their first title as a team. For Zhang, it will also be her first major final in any discipline, while Stosur returns to a Grand Slam doubles final for the first time since Wimbledon 2011, where she was runner-up alongside Sabine Lisicki to Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.
The Australian also returns to a major title round on home soil for the first time in 13 years. Her formidable partnership with Lisa Raymond, with whom she was ranked World No.1, garnered one run to the final in Melbourne in 2006 – where they fell 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-3 to the Chinese pair of Yan Zi and Zheng Jie despite holding two championship points.