WTA Tour

Stosur into Japan Open final

Samantha Stosur (Getty)
Samantha Stosur (Getty)

Osaka - Former US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia has swept aside American teenager Madison Keys in straight sets to advance to the Japan Women's Open final in Osaka on Saturday.

Third-seeded Stosur, aiming for her second title this year and fifth of her career, needed just over an hour to defeat the number six seed Keys 6-1, 6-2 at the Utsubo Tennis Center.

Stosur, the 2009 Osaka champion, will look to regain the title in Sunday's final against another up-and-coming teenager, Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.

Sixth seed Bouchard advanced to her first WTA final with an equally dominant 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded Japanese wild card Kurumi Nara.

The 29-year-old Stosur faced only three break points against Keys -- all in the fifth game of the first set. She came back from 0-40 to go up 4-1, then broke the 18-year-old for the second time before serving out the set.

Keys, playing in her first WTA semi-final, won the opening game of the second set, but Stosur got two service breaks, the second one coming in a long fifth game when the 39th-ranked Keys served at advantage several times but could not convert.

Stosur, whose rank has dropped from a season-opening number nine to the current 20th, had beaten Keys in straight sets in their only previous meeting at Indian Wells earlier this year.

Stosur won in her only other trip to a final this year. She beat then world number three Victoria Azarenka in Carlsbad in early August.

Bouchard, 19, faced five break points and survived four of them in beating Osaka native Nara, who was also attempting to make a first career WTA final, in 1 hour, 26 minutes.

The 35th-ranked Bouchard and Stosur faced each other for the first and only time last April in Charleston, where the Canadian came out with a win when Stosur retired due to injury while trailing 6-1, 2-0.

Results from the WTA Japan Women's Open on Saturday: (x denotes seeding)

Semi-finals:

Samantha Stosur (AUS x3) bt Madison Keys (USA x6) 6-1, 6-2
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN x5) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) 6-2, 6-2

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