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Italians Conquer Rome, First Time Since 1985

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are the first Italians to win the Premier-level event in 27 years.

Published May 20, 2012 12:00

Italians Conquer Rome, First Time Since 1985
Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci

ROME, Italy - Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci brought their fifth WTA doubles title of the year home - at home - on Sunday, defeating Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

Neither team had dropped a set en route to the final but it was the No.3-seeded Errani and Vinci who managed to keep that up, cruising through a 32-minute first set then battling back from 4-2 down in the second set, taking five of the last six games of the match to close out the unseeded Russian pairing, 62 75.

"We played well this week and have been playing very well overall," Errani said. "We're very happy we could win this and we hope to continue playing like this."

Errani and Vinci are the first all-Italian duo to win the doubles title in Rome since Sandra Cecchini and Raffaella Reggi won it all the way back in 1985.

"This was a different, very special victory for us, to win here in Rome," Vinci said. "I think the secret to our success is we are such good friends too."

The Italians have now won 10 WTA doubles titles together, their first eight coming at the International level but their last two - Madrid last week, and Rome this week - being Premiers. They faced Makarova and Vesnina in both finals.

"It was tough to play them at home, but they played very good tennis today, much better than in Madrid last week," Makarova said. "They had a lot of motivation to win this tournament at home and all credit to them today."

Makarova and Vesnina's runs to the finals of Madrid and Rome were actually their very first WTA tournaments together - not a bad start for the Russian pair.

"Elena's a great player and a great person, so I'm very happy to play with her," Makarova said. "She really knows everything about doubles and even teaches me things sometimes. Two tournaments and two finals is a very good start.

"We're playing together at Roland Garros and of course we hope to get into the Olympics, but it's a little far away and we aren't thinking about it yet."

The Top 2 teams in the world were also in Rome, with No.1-seeded Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond making the semifinals (falling to Errani and Vinci) and No.2 seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik dropping their opener (to another all-Italian team, Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone).

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