Kirilenko & Petrova Make Doubles Final
Published June 07, 2012 03:56
PARIS, France - After a dramatic completion to a suspended semifinal, the French Open doubles final is set, with No.4 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci taking on No.7 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova on Friday.
Kirilenko and Petrova rallied from 64 41 down to split sets with fifth-seeded Czechs Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka on Wednesday before darkness suspended play. After Thursday's resumption, there were no breaks of serve until the Russians broke Hlavackova's at 6-5 to close out their 46 75 75 defeat of the defending champions.
Kirilenko and Petrova are 3-0 in finals, including a win over Errani and Vinci for their biggest triumph - in Miami earlier this year. However, the Italians have since beaten them in the semifinals of Madrid and the quarterfinals of Rome.
Errani and Vinci had a more routine semifinal victory, 64 62, over No.12 seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez on Wednesday. The closest they came to trouble was when they dropped three straight games after jumping out to a 3-0 first set lead, but they only lost three more games the rest of the way. Errani is having a dream fortnight, as she is also into the singles final, making her the first player to make the final of both French Open events since Kim Clijsters was runner-up in singles and won the doubles in 2003.
The triumph stretched Errani and Vinci's win streak to 18, longest since Cara Black and Liezel Huber won 22 in a row in 2007. They are going for their 11th title as a duo, their sixth of the year and their fourth in a row, having captured Barcelona, Madrid and Rome coming into Roland Garros. They are also 22-0 on clay this year. This will be their second straight major final, having been runners-up in January's Australian Open final to another pair of Russians, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva.