NEW YORK, NY, USA - It has been a wild couple of days for Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, and it figures to get even wilder with them arguably the favorites among the four teams remaining in the US Open doubles draw and one of them still alive in singles.
The second-seeded Errani and Vinci recorded their WTA-leading 50th win of the year on Tuesday, 62 76(2), over 11th-seeded Julia Goerges and Kveta Peschke in quarterfinal play. They are now 17-2 at majors this year, with a title at Roland Garros, a runner-up showing at the Australian Open and a quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon.
Also on Tuesday, it was announced Errani is guaranteed to rise to World No.1 in doubles at the end of this tournament - making her the second Italian after Flavia Pennetta to achieve that feat. On top of that, on Wednesday, Errani bested Vinci in the singles quarterfinals - making her the first Italian to make the US Open semifinals in the Open Era.
"I'm happy about everything," Errani said. "Of course, No.1 in the world in doubles with your best friend is amazing, maybe the best thing."
In Thursday's doubles semifinals, Errani and Vinci will take on eighth-seeded Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez. The Spaniards edged fourth-seeded Russians Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, 75 36 76(5) in a three-hour, 19-minute quarterfinal thriller on Wednesday. The third set alone took 90 minutes. Llagostera Vives and Martínez Sánchez fell in their two previous major semifinals - at the 2010 and 2012 French Opens. In fact, that loss at Roland Garros earlier this year came at the hands of Errani and Vinci. They are 1-2 all-time against the Italians.
The other semifinal will see third-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka square off with 16th-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Anabel Medina Garrigues. Hlavackova and Hradecka, the only team of the final four yet to drop a set, were 63 61 winners over Sabine Lisicki and Peng Shuai. The Czechs have been victorious in 21 of their past 24 matches and have gotten to at least the semis of every event they have played since dropping their opener at Madrid in May. Also, they have been to at least the final four of each of the four majors this year. Hsieh and Medina Garrigues, who are playing just their second tournament together, converted on five of six break point opportunities in their 62 61 rout of Chuang Chia-Jung and Zhang Shuai.