NEW YORK, NY, USA - Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci and Czechs Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka will each be vying for their second Grand Slam title when they square off in Sunday's US Open doubles final.
The second-seeded Errani and Vinci recorded a routine 63 62 defeat of eighth-seeded Spaniards Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez on Thursday. It was their WTA-leading 51st win of the year. Errani and Vinci most recently got the best of the Spaniards in the semifinals of the French Open and are now 3-1 in their series.
It has been quite a fortnight for Errani and Vinci, who actually had lost prior to the semifinals of four straight events coming into the US Open. But while in Flushing Meadows, they became the first team to clinch a spot at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012 and ensured that Errani would rise to No.1 on the new doubles rankings and Vinci No.2. On top of that, Errani is through to Friday's singles semifinals and Vinci went all the way to the quarterfinals - where she fell to Errani.
Third-seeded Hlavackova and Hradecka were pushed a bit more in their semifinal against 16th-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei, but pulled out a 76(2) 64 victory and still have not dropped a set this fortnight. Not only are Hlavackova and Hradecka 22-3 in their last 25 matches, but they are into their fifth straight final - having been runners-up at Wimbledon, silver medalists at the Olympics, winners in Cincinnati and runners-up in New Haven.
Errani and Vinci are 2-3 against Hlavackova and Hradecka, with the Czechs having won three straight - most recently in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon earlier this summer and then again in the quarterfinals of Cincinnati.
"I think we have a great chance," Hlavackova said. "We have confidence after playing them in Cincinnati and playing well and playing them at Wimbledon and playing great. We just have to play our game and use our strategy against them, which we know and we're not going to tell."
Errani and Vinci are 12-6 in WTA finals and 1-1 in major finals, with their triumph coming at this year's French Open. Hlavackova and Hradecka are 8-4 in WTA finals and 1-1 in major finals, with their triumph coming at last year's French Open. Both teams have excelled in Grand Slam play in 2012, as the Italians have an 18-2 record and the Czechs are 18-3.
"This is the last chance to get a Grand Slam this year," Hlavackova said. "It will be tough because they are great and don't make mistakes. Roberta is great at volleys. When she's up at the net, you have to try to get it around her."