Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fighting Italians--a new chapter

When you honestly don't have any idea who's going to win a match until the very last second, well--that would be exactly the kind of match you'd expect if Alize Cornet played Sara Errani. And play one another they did, today in Paris, and they went at it for over three hours. This, after Cornet spent over three hours yesterday in her quarterfinal match against Andrea Petkovic. Oh, and she spent just shy of three hours winning her second round match against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. And yes, she went over two and a half hours in her first round match, too. I's making me tired just to write about it.

Such fighters, both of them. And they put on quite a show, with their lobs and drop shots and speeding around the court. But in the end, it was a drop shot that should never have been attempted that led to Cornet's downfall, and that put Errani into the Paris final. The Fighting Italian defeated the fighting Frenchwoman 7-6, 3-6, 7-6.

Her opponent will be Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who defeated the other Russian, Maria Sharapova, in the semifinals. Both women had trouble with their second serves, but for the first half of the match, it looked like Sharapova was going to pull off a victory. What happens with Sharapova, I think, is that when her serve goes off and she double-faults, her confidence decreases. Pavlyuchenkova really honed in on this and played a very solid match to win 4-6, 6-3 6-4. Sharapova, unfortunately, double-faulted twice consecutively to end the match.

Not surprisingly, Errani and her partner, Roberta Vinci--the top seeds--gave their semifinal opponents, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, a walkover. 4th seeds Babos and Mladenovic will face 3rd seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke in the final.

Tomorrow, there will also be a retirement ceremony for Marion Bartoli.

No comments: