Vinci Edges Errani For Palermo Title
Published July 14, 2013 12:04
PALERMO, Italy - Good things come to those who wait - that couldn't have been truer for Roberta Vinci this past week, as not only did she snap a five-match losing streak against best friend and fellow Italian Sara Errani, but she won her hometown event in Palermo for the first time in 10 tries.
It was a dream final between the Top 2 seeds and Italy's Top 2 players, too, but looking at their history against each other, it looked like Errani had the upper hand - not only had she won here two times before, in 2008 and 2012, but she had also won their last five meetings, not even dropping a set.
And after winning the first two games of the match Errani looked ready to keep that pattern going, but the No.2-seeded Vinci came alive, smacking big forehands and knifing slice backhands into all the corners, finishing many points up at net - it was a gorgeous display of all-court tennis from her.
She had a mid-match lapse, falling behind 5-1 en route to losing the second set, but in the end Vinci was just too aggressive, powering past the top seed and defending champion for the title, 63 36 63.
"I played so well today," Vinci said. "I played very well in the first set, but Sara started to play much better in the second set. Starting the third set I was 4-0 up and had a lot of chances for 5-0 but lost the game and started to get a little bit nervous, but at the end I won, so I'm really happy right now.
"I played an unbelievable match today. I knew I had to - Sara is an unbelievable player."
Vinci now has two WTA titles this year, having won another International-level clay court title in Katowice in the spring, and nine WTA titles overall. She is an incredible 9-1 lifetime in WTA finals.
"I live here and practice here at this club, so winning here is fantastic for me," Vinci said. "I really didn't expect to win this tournament, especially with Sara in the final, but I played a really good match.
"I'll probably stay five or six days at home now, then I'm starting my hardcourt season in Carlsbad."
Errani is now an even 7-7 in WTA finals, but still had an exciting week in Palermo, her semifinal win being her 40th WTA match win of the year, just the second to get that many (after Serena Williams).
The doubles final, which was played Saturday, saw No.1 seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Katarzyna Piter rally from 4-1 down in the match tie-break to beat Karolina Pliskova and Kristyna Pliskova, 61 57 108. It was Mladenovic's sixth WTA doubles title while Piter won her first WTA title of any kind.