x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Stubbs a step closer to elusive title

Rennae Stubbs, 38, has won 59 titles along the way, but the Dubai Tennis Championship trophy is still missing from her trophy-laden cabinet.

DUBAI // Rennae Stubbs is a veteran of the WTA Tour - a professional for nearly two decades and one of the foremost exponents of the doubles game. The Australian has played alongside Steffi Graf and Helena Sukova in the early 1990s, and paired with Lisa Raymond and Kveta Peschke more recently to finish in the doubles top 10 for 11 consecutive seasons. Stubbs, 38, has won 59 titles along the way, but the Dubai Tennis Championship trophy is still missing from her trophy-laden cabinet.

The Sydney native has a new partner, Samantha Stosur, this year and she hopes to fill that empty space this time round. "It would be nice to win," said Stubbs after subduing the Ukranian sisters Kateryna and Alona Bondarenko 3-6, 6-3, 12-10 to reach the semi-finals. The third seeded Australians will meet either Cara Black and Liezel Huber, the top seeds, or the Chinese pair of Yung-Jan CHan and Tiantian Sun for a place in tomorrow's final, and Stubbs feels ready for the challenge.

"It is going to be tough," she said. "We have played all of them many times. We have not played them together, so everything is a new experience for us right now - it is fun." Maria Kirilenko and Agnieszka Radwanska also moved into the last-four with a battling 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 win over Akgul Amanmuradova and Chia-Jung Chuang. The pair, who knocked out second seeds Lisa Raymond and Kveta Peschke in the earlier round, will meet fourth seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Francesca Schiavone, who beat seventh seeds Elena Vesnina and Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-2.

arizvi@thenational.ae