(February 22, 2013) Sara Errani and Petra Kvitova will battle it out for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title after both posted straight-set victories on Friday. Errani beat Roberta Vinci 6-3 6-3 and Kvitova defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-4.
The pair are not only the best two doubles players in the world but best friends who had plans to meet for dinner after the match, and such familiarity made it difficult for Errani to decide how to play her opponent.
“I just tried to play my game, tried to be more solid as I can,” Errani said. “Of course it’s very tough because we know each other very well, so it is like to play so she cannot think that I’m going to do.
“So it’s not a match that I just see normally and say, ‘Try to play your game’. It’s tension. It’s tough. And it’s tough to play against one person who knows what you’re going to do in every shot. It’s difficult.”
Both sets therefore were closely contested with numerous breaks of serve. Errani served for the first set at 5-2 and was broken to love, but she broke Vinci in the next game to take the set on her third set point.
Errani also had to fight to maintain her slight advantage in the second set. After breaking to lead 3-1 she needed to survive two break points to hold for 4-1, dropped her serve at 4-2 but then earned a decisive break to lead 5-3.
“I think she played a good game today,” said Vinci. “She miss probably two or three balls. For me, it was tough because I had to play always aggressive. When you play against someone that doesn’t miss any balls, it’s tough to play every single point a long point.”
Kvitova did just enough to take the opening set, breaking Wozniacki’s serve in the first game and then resisting two break points to hold for 3-1 before breaking again for the set with a powerful backhand winner.
Wozniacki found difficulty in dealing with her opponent’s power and failed to make the most of her opportunities, especially in the second set. She held two break points to lead 2-1 and, although she broke for 3-2, Kvitova immediately levelled at 3-3. Kvitova then broke for the match after Wozniacki had held three game points.
Kvitova believed her more aggressive play was the key to her victory, saying “We are like different players, and she’s trying to turn on a lot and put the balls back. I am the person who is playing aggressively and going for the winners.”
“It was very difficult, especially in the first set,” Wozniacki admitted. “I didn’t feel like I had many chances. You know, she just went for every shot and hit it deep and I came under pressure straightaway.
“But, you know, I thought I served well. In the second set I think I had my chances, and I probably should have taken them but I didn’t.”
Fifth seed Errani and sixth seed Kvitova will meet in the finals on Saturday at 7pm, following the doubles finals which will be contested by Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza, and Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik at 5pm.
DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Results - Friday, February 22,
Sara Errani (ITA) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 63 63
(6) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (8)
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 63 64
Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) d. (4) Llagostera Vives/Zheng (ESP/CHN) 61
(USA/IND) d. Black/Rodionova (ZIM/AUS) 62
Order Of Play – Saturday, February 23,
Centre Court (from
1. Doubles Final:
Mattek-Sands/Mirza vs. Petrova/Srebotnik
2. Singles Final:
Sara Errani vs. Petra Kvitova (NB 19.00hrs)