Errani and Vinci US Open doubles champions and new world No.1

September 10, 2012

WTA Tennis News

By Lisa-Marie Burrows

The two Italian best friends were delighted to win the US Open together and become the world No.1 (AP Photo / Mike Groll)

The Italians closed this historic triumph with a “vintage slam.” Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci were triumphant in New York after a fantastic year in doubles.  They reached the finals of the Australian Open, won at Roland Garros and reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals.  On Sunday, they experienced another extraordinary success in the U.S. Open, where the two won the final against the Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka (number 3 in the rankings) with a clear 6-4, 6-2 win.

Despite experiencing great success this year in their partnership, the match was not without pitfalls the for Italians. Facing each other today were the two couples who have dominated the season: in fact, the victories / defeats in four slam was 18 to 2 for Errani / Vinci and 18 to 3 Hradecka / Hlavackova, both have had a 66% success rate in the finals held so far (12 out of 18 for Italian, 8 out of 12 for Czech) and one win each in a Slam. However, Hradecka / Hlavackova were the pair that had won the last three head to heads (including Wimbledon and Cincinnati) and are in top form (final at Wimbledon and New Haven, silver at the Olympics and a win at Cincinnati).

Each game, however, is a story in itself.

The beginning was made by the Italians: in spite of the two inaccurate responses from Errani, the Italian exploited a good few too many errors from the Czech players and immediately won the first break. Thanks also to a great start by Vinci, which then took the match off to a good start (2-0). Hlavackova, on the other side of the court seemed to be more on the ball player. This can be seen also in the next round with Errani in her service game, when the Italian restored the break after suffering with the aggression and hard hitting of the Czech: Sara continued to make too many mistakes and allowed Roberta to play well at the net, failing to contain the force of Hlavackova (2-2).

It was a beautiful match from a tactical point of view, but it was very tight in every game. All, however, seemed on balance in the hands of Vinci Hlavackova: Hradecka experienced a difficult service game(3 * -2) with more unforced errors, including two double faults, and shortly after the same was experienced by  Errani (4-4). The last final stretch for the Italians was during the service of Hradecka, who lost serve again for the third time on the trot (5 * -4).

Vinci had to serve for the set, but two blunders at the net by Errani nearly jeopardized everything. However, after a few untimely errors from Hradecka gave the green light for the Italians to win the set.

The curse of the serve for Errani and Hradecka broke in the second set, but fortunately only for the Italian, who succeeded, albeit with difficulty, to hold for the first time, conquering then the Czechs with a break.  This was the key moment of the match: the “Cichi” in fact rose from the chair and gave life to a perfect sprint to the finish, with Errani playing more solidly and back to push as hard as she is normally able to do.

To be recorded at this point, there was only a fifth consecutive service break for Hradecka which proved to be a real thorn in the side of the Czech team. After victory, the Italians were dancing, hugging and applauding after being the new world number 1 in the rankings.

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About Lisa-Marie Burrows

Lisa-Marie Burrows has a MA in Sports Broadcast Journalism and is a freelance sports journalist. She has covered many national and international tennis tournaments and has worked in Paris for Eurosport News channel. She is a member of the International Press Association and a journalist for its online magazine, IMPress. She has contributed articles for various leading websites including www.tennisgrandstand.com, www.worldtennismagazine.com, www.tennisbloggers.com, www.tennisscoop.co.uk and www.olympictennis.net. Lisa-Marie operates her tennis website www.tennisnewsviews.com where you can read her reports. She can be reached at lburrows@internationalpress.com or on Twitter @TennisNewsViews.

View all posts by Lisa-Marie Burrows

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