ROME, Italy - In a clash of No.1 against No.2 on the Road To Singapore leaderboard, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci beat Cara Black and Sania Mirza on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
After a comfortable first set victory, Vinci was serving at 3-3, 15-30 in the second set when the Italians won 11 straight points to finish off the 6-2, 6-3 victory. They improved to 3-1 against Black and Mirza while recording the exact same scoreline they beat them by a few weeks ago in the Stuttgart final.
The second-seeded Errani and Vinci, champions here in 2012 and runners-up in 2013, now have a 10-match winning streak going for the second time this season and are two wins away from their 20th WTA title as a duo.
Errani and Vinci's semifinal foes will be No.8 seeds Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who overcame two sets points in the first set of their 7-5, 7-6(3) triumph over No.3 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. In their prior three meetings with the Russians they had failed to win a set, including a rout in their first clash at the 2012 Olympics.
Saturday's other semifinal will see fourth-seeded Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik square off with Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova. Peschke and Srebotnik were 6-4, 6-4 winners over Marina Erakovic and Arantxa Parra Santonja, and Medina Garrigues and Shvedova's 6-4, 6-1 victory over Casey Dellacqua and Klaudia Jans-Ignacik was their 10th win in their last 11 matches.
"We are playing better and better each match," Shvedova said. "Since Australia we completely changed our game and improved our communication on the court. I enjoy playing with Anabel. We laugh a lot about silly things on the court, but at the same time we are serious and stick with the game plans. It's working, so hopefully it continues to work in the future as well.
"It would be great if we could qualify for the WTA Championships. I played in it two times with Vania King. This year eight teams make it, which improves our chances. I was thinking this morning about where we are in the race because we have been playing well and have won a couple tournaments. I will be very happy if we can qualify."