Aussie Storm Sanders has progressed to the third round in an Australian Open women’s doubles draw for the first time.
Storm Sanders was the sole Aussie winner in Australian Open 2022 women’s doubles action today. However, the 27-year-old’s progression to the third round was far from smooth.
Sanders and American partner Caroline Dolehide needed two-hours and 57-minutes to overcome Japanese duo Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya in a second-round battle at Kia Arena, with the ninth seeds eventually prevailing 5-7 7-6(2) 7-6(7).
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Hozumi and Ninomiya, the recently-crowned Adelaide International champions, served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Yet 27-year-old Sanders and 23-year-old Dolehide kept their hopes alive with some spirited play.
After forcing a third set, Sanders and Dolehide then had to recover from a 2-5 deficit in the deciding match tiebreak. They did so superbly, winning eight of the final 10 points to secure a hard-fought victory.
This is a career-best effort for world No.27 Sanders, who had never progressed beyond the second round in nine previous Australian Open women’s doubles appearances.
Sam Stosur and China’s Zhang Shuai also found themselves in a three-set battle today, but lost to…