Miami Day 9 Preview

Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci will have their work cut out for them to reach the Sony Open Tennis semifinals.

Published March 26, 2013 11:55

Miami Day 9 Preview
Roberta Vinci

MIAMI, FL, USA - Italian friends and doubles partners Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are seeking a dream semifinal encounter against each other at the Sony Open Tennis, but both will have their hands full to get there with clashes against former World No.1s.

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Wednesday, Quarterfinals
[3] Maria Sharapova (RUS #2) vs. [8] Sara Errani (ITA #7)
Head-to-head: Sharapova leads 3-0
The stakes have been big each time Maria Sharapova has faced off with Sara Errani, and all three times she has been victorious in straight sets - in the French Open final and WTA Championships round robin stage last year and in the Indian Wells quarterfinals two weeks ago - though that was the closest one yet. She has to like her chances of overpowering Errani again, as she has dropped just 12 games through three matches this fortnight and has a nine-match and 18-set winning streak going. If Sharapova is victorious, she will be two wins away from becoming just the third player, after Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters, to complete an Indian Wells and Miami title sweep in the same year.

Errani comes into the contest with a WTA-leading 24 match wins in 2013, however, she will be looking to reverse a trend. She is 0-25 all-time against Top 5 opponents, including 0-11 vs. Top 2 foes. After dropping just five games through her first two matches, Errani is coming off a three-set defeat of Ana Ivanovic. She is also through to the semifinals in doubles alongside fellow Italian Roberta Vinci.

[15] Roberta Vinci (ITA #15) vs. [22] Jelena Jankovic (SRB #24)
Head-to-head: Jankovic leads 3-2
Roberta Vinci has surrendered the first set in each of her three matches in Miami, yet has emerged victorious each time and is projected to ascend to a career-high on the new rankings. Conversely, quarterfinal foe Jelena Jankovic has yet to drop a set and was in especially good form in her fourth round triumph over Sorana Cirstea. She is enjoying a resurgence this year, having won her first WTA title in almost three years in Bogotá last month. She is assured of returning to the Top 20 next week regardless of how much further she goes in Miami, where against Vinci she is looking to snap a seven-match losing streak versus Top 15 opponents.

Vinci and Jankovic have an intriguing history against one another, with Jankovic winning the first three and Vinci the last two. Three of their five matches have ended in a third set tie-break, including their most recent battle in the second round of Sydney earlier this year.

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