PARIS, France - Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci battled into their fifth final in the last six Grand Slams on Friday evening, defeating Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik in three sets in the semifinals.
The No.1-seeded Errani and Vinci were a game away from winning leading 5-4 in the second set but ended up having to go to a third to close out the No.3-seeded Petrova and Srebotnik, 63 57 63.
Errani and Vinci reached their first Grand Slam final at last year's Australian Open, and since then have won three of the last four - last year's French Open and US Open and then the Australian Open this year. Their only pre-final loss came against the Williams sisters in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
"To be in another final is very good for us," Errani said. "Nadia and Katarina played very well in today's match. It was pretty hot today and we were a bit tired in the third, but we're happy to win."
Awaiting the co-World No.1s in the final will be No.4 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who made it past No.2 seeds and former French Open champions Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, 64 75. Makarova and Vesnina came back from 4-1 down in the second set to close it out.
"We played against a very strong team today and it was a very close match," Vesnina said. "Even when we were down 1-4 in the second set we wanted to win the set - we were focusing on every point.
"It was also very special to reach the final today because Ekaterina has a birthday today. It's very difficult to play on your birthday - most of the players lose on that day, except Rafa of course - so it was some more pressure on me, but we played very well and we're really happy we won today."
If the final takes place on Court Philippe Chatrier, it will be a special present for Makarova.
"Roland Garros is the last Grand Slam where I didn't play on the main stadium," Makarova said. "So I'm really excited to go out there and play the final. It will be a good match and we will try our best.
"We've played Errani and Vinci a lot of times, so we know each other. They're really tough and No.1 in the world. We have to stay solid and play our games and try to push them throughout the match."
Makarova and Vesnina are playing their first Grand Slam doubles final together. Makarova is in her first Grand Slam doubles final; Vesnina is 0-3 in them, a runner-up at the 2009 French Open (with Victoria Azarenka), 2010 Wimbledon (with Vera Zvonareva) and the 2011 French Open (with Sania Mirza).
What would it mean to Vesnina to break through here? "It's my favorite Grand Slam. Since I first came here as a junior, Paris is one of my favorite cities. And not many players can even be part of the finals, the last day - there's nobody left in the player lounge and it gives you some great feelings.
"It would mean a lot."