Stosur survives scare at Sydney International

Samantha Stosur celebrates her win. Photo: AAP Image
Samantha Stosur celebrates her win. Photo: AAP Image

Samantha Stosur survived a typical third-set wobble to secure her place in round two at the Sydney International.

Stosur showed her fighting qualities to come back from a set down to beat Italian Roberta Vinci 4-6 7-5 7-5.

Last year's US Open finalist had taken the first set in which neither player settled into a serving groove. The second set was a lot closer with Stosur holding her nerve to serve it out.

In the final set, the Italian veteran lost her way, going down 3-0 but after also leading 4-1 and 5-2, Stosur somehow allowed the veteran back in the game and the Italian levelled at 5-5.

But just as she appeared to be cracking under pressure, the Aussie steeled herself to hold her serve before breaking Vinci to seal victory.

Stosur will now play qualifier Daniela Hantuchova, the veteran taking Agnieszka Radwanska's spot in the draw after the Pole withdrew through injury.

New Aussie Daria Gavrilova also pulled out from the tournament yesterday with a left abdominal muscle injury.

In the men's draw Australian wildcard Jordan Thompson set up a second-round clash with No.1 seed and reigning Sydney champion Bernard Tomic in round two.

Thompson was 6-2 and 4-0 up on opponent Martin Klizan before the Slovakian withdrew, citing a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Milos Raonic is hoping his win over Roger Federer in the Brisbane International final can propel him to his goal of a place in the top five in the world ahead of next week's Australian Open.

The Canadian, who has dropped to 14 in the world after a string of injuries ruined last season, was too good for defending champion Federer on Sunday night, winning 6-4 6-4.

The result was a reverse of last year's final and Raonic said it was the perfect way for him to go into the first grand slam of the season in Melbourne.

"I feel like I am playing some very good tennis," he said.

"I feel I can use this next week to recover well, add a few more things to my game and keep getting better.

"Hopefully I have a good start there (in Melbourne) and give myself a good chance."

Raonic said his win over Federer gave him a lot of confidence as he looks to re-establish himself among the elite of the men's game.

"It gives you an understanding that you can put that (the performance against Federer) up for three out of five sets which is the biggest factor change coming into the Australian Open.

"I have a realistic goal of breaking into the top five.

"I got there last year but that was before an injury.

"Hopefully a good performance in Melbourne will get me back up there."

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