Repeat In Sight For Roberta
Published April 16, 2010 12:00
BARCELONA, Spain - It will be Italian versus Italian, friend versus friend, and top seed versus defending champion in the final of the $220,000 Barcelona Ladies Open, after Francesca Schiavone and Roberta Vinci won their respective semifinals on Friday.
While Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova was unable to offer much resistance to world No.17 Schiavone, who won their match in just over an hour, 61 62, unseeded Vinci toiled for longer. After dropping the first set in a tie-break the 27-year-old wore down Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru - playing her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour semi since winning the Warsaw Open last May - 67(4) 61 62.
Although Vinci registered just 58% of first serves to Dulgheru's 73%, she made up for it by winning 61% of points on the Romanian's second serve - as well as 65% on her own second delivery.
Perhaps surprisingly, the two Italians have met on Tour just four times previously, stretching back to 2002. Although 29-year-old Schiavone holds a 3-1 edge in the head-to-head, 54th-ranked Vinci can focus on the fact her sole win came right here at Barcelona 12 months ago, in the semis.
In Saturday's singles final both Vinci and Schiavone will be gunning for a third Tour title. As well as Barcelona, Vinci won on the clay at Bogotá in 2007, while Schiavone's wins have come at Bad Gastein in 2007 and Moscow in 2009. But whereas Vinci has a perfect 2-0 record in finals, Schiavone is 2-10, her first trophy finally coming from her ninth final.
As well as being on a nine-match streak in singles at the David Lloyd Club Turo, Vinci is still feeling the vibe in the doubles event. Seeded fourth with Sara Errani, she is through to the final, having beaten Spanish No.1 seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez, 36 61 107. In the final the Italian duo plays the unseeded team of Timea Bacsinszky and Tathiana Garbin, who beat Germans Tatjana Malek and Andrea Petkovic, 75 63.
Errani and Vinci lifted the trophy at Marbella last week.