Sam Stosur chases Aust Open doubles crown

Samantha Stosur (right) and partner Zhang Shuai have reached the Australian Open doubles final.
Samantha Stosur (right) and partner Zhang Shuai have reached the Australian Open doubles final.

Samantha Stosur is using Friday's Australian Open women's doubles final to settle two scores - one 13 years in the making and one from her last grand slam outing.

Perhaps most importantly, the evergreen 34-year-old will lap up another chance to play in a major final.

Stosur will team with Zheng Shuai to tackle reigning champions and second seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the decider.

It's Stosur's 13th grand slam final of her long and distinguished career, allowing for some slightly delayed gratification.

The last time she played off for an Australian Open title was in 2006, when she paired with Lisa Raymond in the women's doubles.

What does she remember about that clash?

"We were a set and 5-2 or 5-3 (up) and 40-15. And lost," she replies, as quick as a flash.

"That was a tough match and one that took a bit of time to get over.

"Thirteen years later I'm over it and we'll give it another shot

"I got a message from Lisa Raymond who was my partner back in 06 and she said 'OK now you've got another chance to go and win it so go for it. Go do it'."

Stosur and Zheng won through to the final with a three-set semi-final classic on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday night.

In a sweet antidote to Stosur's years of singles pain at her home slam, the pair enjoyed a near-capacity crowd owing to Kei Nishikori's retirement in his semi-final with Novak Djokovic.

Stosur lapped up the attention in the 7-5 4-6 7-5 triumph over Czech duo Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova.

"There's nothing better than playing a match like that. You could feel the ride of the emotions from everyone in the crowd, the players, it was exciting tennis. We loved it out there," she said.

When they tackle Babos and Mladenovic, you can also add the element of revenge.

The Hungarian-French pair beat them in the semi-finals of last year's US Open.

"It will a good chance to get one back on them," Stosur said.

The former doubles world No.1 said the match-up against one of tennis' best pairings would be difficult, but the pay-off would be stunning.

"They're one of the best teams in the world. Played together for a very long time and very organised," she said.

"I'm very proud of the career I've had in every form of the game (and) to have another shot at winning one is amazing.

"It would be another dream come true really."

Australian Associated Press