Stosur set for Safarova showdown after Kuznetsova withdrawal


Sam Stosur was the beneficiary of top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova's withdrawal from the Prague Open as the Australian reached the final of the event for the first time in 10 years.

The world number 25 will face Lucie Safarova in the final following Friday's walkover, offering her a chance to claim the crown she missed out on at the last hurdle when beaten by Shahar Peer in 2006.

Kuznetsova pulled out of the semi-final match with an abdominal injury.

The other semi-final was an all-Czech affair which saw Safarova overcome Karolina Pliskova 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Both players were aiming to reach their first final of 2016 and it was Safarova - ranked two places above her compatriot in 16th - who prevailed.

A cooler head on key points proved telling, Safarova securing what proved to be a decisive break in the opening game of the first set and shutting down two break-point opportunities for her rival.

The early break in the second went the way of Pliskova, but Safarova fought back in game seven and took the set to a tie-break.

It was there that Safarova found an extra gear to ensure she will be the one who carries the hopes of the home crowd in the final.