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Errani: Same Round, Bigger Breakthrough

In last year's French Open quarterfinals, Sara Errani put an 0-28 record against Top 10 players to rest. And in the same round this year, she did the same to an 0-28 record against the Top 5.

Published June 04, 2013 12:01

Errani: Same Round, Bigger Breakthrough
Agnieszka Radwanska, Sara Errani

PARIS, France - Sara Errani edged Agnieszka Radwanska in a very tight two-setter at Roland Garros to not only return to the French Open semifinals, but shatter an 0-28 record against Top 5 players.

For almost two hours the No.4-seeded Radwanska and the No.5-seeded Errani - two of the craftiest players on the tour - battled it out on Court Philippe Chatrier, bringing out all the shots and all the variety that has taken them both to the upper echelon. And after a relatively drama-free first set Errani not only battled back from 3-1 down in the second, but regrouped after getting broken at love while serving for the match at 5-4 - and she ended up closing it out in a second set tie-break anyway, with Radwanska missing a backhand down the line just wide to give the Italian a 64 76(6) victory.

"The match was very close all the time," Errani said. "It wasn't one thing that made the difference. I was just lucky to close the second set out. She could have won the second set. It was very close.

"We were just staying there and fighting, and trying to win every point."

Errani is now through to her third Grand Slam semifinal, having been a finalist at the French Open and a semifinalist at the US Open last year. And there's something else, too - going into last year's French Open quarterfinals she was 0-28 against Top 10 players but beat Angelique Kerber to get over the hump, and she has had a slew of Top 10 wins since then; and then going into today's match she was a curiously identical 0-28 against Top 5 players, but beat the World No.4 to get over the hump.

"I can't compare this year's tournament to last year's - this is a new tournament for me," Errani said in her presser. "I didn't feel any pressure from last year. It's a different situation, and I think I've been doing well with all the tension in the last two matches. I've played better in those big moments."

Radwanska talked about the conditions and a very tricky opponent in her post-match press conference.

"In these conditions with such a lot of wind, the serve wasn't a huge weapon - it was 50/50 to win the games," Radwanska said. "It didn't matter who was serving. That's why there were so many breaks. But I think it was a very good match anyway, and very close too, especially in the second set.

"But all our matches are really close. She was playing very solid tennis and didn't miss much. She was playing her game and didn't give me any free points. Every point I really had to win myself."

Radwanska still leaves with a moral victory - she finally reached her first French Open quarterfinal.

"For sure it's been a good two weeks, making my first quarterfinal here," Radwanska said. "Of course I wanted more, especially when it's a very close match, and I was hoping I could do it until the end.

"In this case I played against a really good player. Well, next time."

Next up for Errani is No.1 seed Serena Williams, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova on Court Suzanne Lenglen (read more about that here). Williams has beaten Errani in all five of their previous meetings.

"It's for sure going to be very difficult, because she's very strong, and physically she's an incredible athlete," Errani commented. "She has a lot of power and it's never easy to play against her.

"But maybe clay is a bit better than the other surfaces for me."

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