Samantha Stosur has claimed her maiden fourth-round WTA berth of the year thanks to a tough three-set victory over Shuai Peng at the Miami Open.
The 14th-seed Stosur set up a clash with world No.5 Simona Halep after fighting back from a set down to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-5 third-round victory over the world No.43 from China on Sunday (Monday AEDT).
Stosur, who beat in-form fellow Australian Ashleigh Barty in the second round, broke Peng in the match’s penultimate game to claim victory in two-and-a-half hours at Key Biscayne in Florida.
The 32-year-old Stosur started poorly, broken in the opening game of the match on the way to losing the first set before regrouping to take the second.
The deciding set was a see-sawing affair, with Peng losing serve in the first game before breaking back two games later.
The Australian veteran finished strongly to break Peng to love with the set poised a 5-5 before using three match points to see off her opponent’s challenge in the following game.
The result improves on Stosur’s previous best tournament showings of 2017 when she reached the third rounds in Doha and Taipei.
She will play third seed Halep after the Romanian dominated on serve to dispatch qualifier Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-0 on centre court.
“(It) definitely will be a tough match,” Halep said of the encounter with Stosur.
“I know Sam pretty well and I know it’s going to be very difficult. But I know how I have to play against her.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for me. I’m coming after a break so I have nothing to lose. I just want to enjoy and give everything, like today.”
Top seed Angelique Kerber rallied after going down 2-4 in the second set to overcome American Shelby Rogers 6-4 7-5.
“It’s always good to have close sets, especially when you win them at the end,” German world No.1 Kerber said.
“They give you confidence that you can go out in your next match knowing you can win close matches because you’ve just done it a day ago.”
Three-time champion Venus Williams made the most of her home-court advantage to steamroll qualifier Patricia Maria Tig 6-3 6-0.
The American will next play No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won in Miami in 2006 and was the runner-up last year.
Kuznetsova beat American qualifier Taylor Townsend 6-4 6-2.
Briton Johanna Konta set up a clash with Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena after the pair were victors over Pauline Parmentier of France and American Madison Keys respectively.