Stosur beats Knapp in 3 sets to win Gastein Ladies

BAD GASTEIN, Austria (AP) — Samantha Stosur rallied to defeat third-seeded Karin Knapp of Italy 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the final of the Gastein Ladies on Sunday.

It’s the second title of the season and eighth overall for the 23rd-ranked Australian, who was seeded second. Stosur also won in Strasbourg in May.

The former fourth-ranked Australian dropped one set in her opening match against Anastija Sevastova of Latvia. But after getting used to the high altitude in the Austrian Alps, she recorded three comfortable straight-set wins, including in the semifinal against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia.

Knapp won four of the final’s first five games to take control of the opening set. She failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set before Stosur dominated the final set.

The final was the second three-set match which the 43rd-ranked Knapp played Sunday after outlasting top-seeded Sara Errani 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5 in a semifinal moved from Saturday because of rain. Both matches combined lasted for 5 hours, 6 minutes.

On Friday, Knapp also played her second round and quarterfinal matches on the same day.

Knapp was also seeking her second title of the season. Coming to Bad Gastein, she had failed to win a match since taking the title in Nuremberg two months ago. Knapp had to hold off three match points against Tamira Paszek of Austria in the first round.

In her semifinal against Errani, Knapp rallied from 3-0 down to take the opening set in a tiebreaker.

Errani, who is ranked 19th, broke three times to take the second set and fought back from 5-2 down in the final set before Knapp won the last two games.

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