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Stosur reveals illness inspiration
AFP
15:55 AEST Thu Jun 4 2009

Australia's Samantha Stosur said that reaching the semi-finals of the French Open was something that would have been beyond her wildest dreams during an illness lay-off that lasted nearly a year.

The 25-year-old spent almost 12 months out of the game after contracting the fatigue-inducing Lyme disease in 2007, but after making her comeback last year she has now booked a first ever last-four spot at a Grand Slam.

"I guess I wasn't really thinking about Grand Slams or winning tournaments or anything like that at that stage," said Stosur, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea on Wednesday.

"It was more just trying to get healthy and leave my apartment, basically.

"It was hard, but I always tried to stay positive. I always told myself I was going to be back. I didn't know if that was really going to be the case, but I stayed as positive as I could.

"I'm lucky that I had family and really good friends around that kept me in that frame of mind as well.

"It was nice to have a lot of people's support when I was going through that."

Stosur will meet Russian world number seven Svetlana Kuznetsova on Thursday for a place in Saturday's final and she says she always had faith that she would return to top-level tennis.

"Once I started playing, as a year passed, I knew I was going to be fine," she said. "That's exactly kind of where I'm at now.

"I know I've got no problems, and I can forget about that and that's all in the past and just continue building on what I've been able to do."