Saturday, October 26, 2013

Russia defeats Italy--at least, this week

For the second year in a row, the number 1 doubles team in the world has failed to make the final of the WTA Championships, and it's the same team--Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Last year, the Italians were defeated by eventual champions Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova. In today's semifinals, it was again a Russian team who put them out of the competition: Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina defeated Errani and Vinci 4-6, 7-5, 10-3.

Errani and Vinci were up a set and a break (at 4-2 in the second set) when Makarova and Vesnina suddenly became more aggressive and less error-prone. And while it appears obvious that Russia will have a tough time dominating Italy in the Fed Cup final next week, for now, it's all about Russia.

The other finalist team is that of Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai. They defeated Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik 7-5, 6-2.

In singles, Li Na beat Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-2. Kvitova had her moments, but Li played a much cleaner match, making only 15 unforced errors to 18 winners. The Chinese star has now risen to a rank of number 3 in the world.

In the other semifinal, a very out-of-sorts Serena Williams nevertheless managed to defeat Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Williams said afterwards that she was very tired.

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