Zhang Shuai (R) of China and Samantha Stosur of Australia celebrate after winning the women's doubles semifinal match against Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic at 2019 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 23, 2019. Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur won 2-1. [Xinhua/Bai Xue]
China's Zhang Shuai and her Australian partner Sam Stosur are through to the Australian Open women's doubles final, after a thrilling three-set victory over Czech duo Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova on Wednesday that ended 7-5, 4-6, 7-5.
While it was a nervous start for the Sino-Aussie duo, falling behind in the first set 5-2, the pair managed to find their rhythm and eventually fight their way back to go one set ahead.
With the Czech combo mounting their own fight back in the second, it all came down to a deciding third and final set.
Although Zhang and Stosur got the early break, Strycova and Vondrousova were able to win it back in a see-sawing back-and-forth contest that had fans in Melbourne on the edge of their seats.
In the end however, Zhang and Stosur were able to get the break at 5-5 and serve out the match to snatch the win.
"My heart rate is so high at the moment," Stosur said after the match.
"That was amazing. It was a really tough match for us. Shuai picked it up for us at the end and I'm so pleased we're into a final here together in Australia."
"We're on a bit of a roll and hopefully we can keep it going in the final. It would be amazing for us, we'll do everything we can to be ready and we'll give it a good crack."
The pair will now take on reigning Australian Open champions Timea Babos from Hungary and Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in the final.