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WTA Diary: Sara Survives, USA Thrives

Catch up on all the first week action from the French Open, including Sara Errani's back-from-the-brink win and Maria's general knowledge fail.

Published June 03, 2013 12:00

WTA Diary: Sara Survives, USA Thrives
Sara Errani

Every week there's a lot happening on the WTA - on the court, off the court, by the numbers, even a few tweets... catch up on it all in this week's WTA Diary.

Forza Sara!
Sara Errani may stand just 5' 5" tall, but on the red clay of Roland Garros, she seems capable of clearing the highest of hurdles. Against all odds, her bottomless reserves of energy, deceptively potent groundstrokes and iron will took her to within sliding distance of the title last year and are once again serving her well this time around.

The latest improbable triumph came on Sunday, when she dragged herself off the floor (both figuratively and literally) to overcome a blocked diaphragm and Carla Suárez Navarro.

Severe breathing difficulties at the end of the first set appeared to spell a painful end to Errani's challenge, but, with a little help from one of the WTA's medical team, she came roaring back to sink the Spaniard in three.

U-S-A, U-S-A!
Errani is not the only player plotting an improbable path through the draw in Paris. Before the tournament, Jamie Hampton's best showing from her eight major appearances was a third round run at this year's Australian Open, but wins over Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova now see her on the verge of the quarterfinals. Next up is Jelena Jankovic.

Also still in the running are fellow Americans Sloane Stephens and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who take on the tour's two leading Marias, Sharapova and Kirilenko.

Mistaken Identity
In spite of Hampton's on-court success, some people still can't get the hang of her name.

"You know I have one of the easiest names and everyone calls me Julie Hamilton - Julie Hamilton," Hampton said. "They can get Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova right but they can't Jamie Hampton right."

What A Difference A Year Makes
Another American on the up at the moment is Mallory Burdette. This time last year, the 22-year-old was representing Stanford at the NCAA tournament, but, much to her own surprise, she is now knocking on the door of the Top 50.

Who?
Maria Sharapova may know her way around Roland Garros, but her knowledge of French tennis is in need of some brushing up.

@MariaSharapova
I think I need to watch more #rolandgarros tennis. Yesterday, had no clue who Paire was, today Chardy?

Another player whose tennis general knowledge is not so hot is Jelena Jankovic, who didn't fare so well in her quiz against ATP star Grigor Dimitrov.

Fast Hands
Lauren Davis has risen nearly 300 places in the rankings in the past 18 months, and judging by her pre-point ritual at Roland Garros, it turns out the only thing moving faster than her ranking are her hands.

Island Mentality
Last week, Monica Puig of Puerto Rico and Marina Erakovic of New Zealand became the first women from their respective countries to reach the third round of the French Open. Puig was so popular in the French capital that she even had the honor of being interviewed in the back of a suped-up Peugeot 3008.

Monica Puig

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