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Stosur downs Gavrilova in marathon Strasbourg final

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Australia's Samantha Stosur won her first title in nearly two years with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory over countrywoman Daria Gavrilova in the final of the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

The 24th-ranked Stosur on Saturday needed two hours and 45 minutes to clinch her ninth WTA title at this clay-court tournament.

The world No. 25 jumped out to an early lead but Stosur dominated the latter stages of the match, winning the final two games without the loss of a point to preserve her status as Australia's top player.

Stosur, who also won the Strasbourg tournament in 2015, is rounding into form ahead of tennis' premier clay-court event, the French Open, which gets underway on Sunday.

The 33-year-old Australian reached the Roland Garros final in 2010 and has advanced to the semifinals on three other occasions, including at last year's tournament.

Stosur shared after her win, "It’s great to win a title. I was glad to be able to serve the match out very well. Sometimes that’s not an easy thing to do, especially in a final. But I felt like I was really composed and played very well. So I’m happy to get the lead and hold on in the end.

"I definitely was expecting a tough match against Dasha. We know each other very well, and have practiced a lot together. She typically makes her opponents work very hard to beat her.

"I knew the match would probably be long and tiring, very physical, and she certainly made me work very hard for it. I tried to hang in there, especially when she was playing very well at the start of the match.

"It was only in the last few games of the third set where she made a few errors, and that’s when I was able to capitalize."