Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Errani voices her claim

Sara Errani has been to a Grand Slam tournament final before - Roland Garros 2012 - she still represents a challenge for any opponent even if she has slipped from a regular top ten player to number fourteen seed for this year's Aus Open.

Her dogged determination to chase down every ball is almost the female equivalent of Lleyton Hewitt, and Spain's Silvia Soler-Espinosa would have her work cut out to overcome the Italian in their second round clash. 

The future looked dim for Silvia when her serve was broken with ease, Sara's shots hitting the mark each time.
From that point the contest developed with little between the pair apart from the net.  Silvia was the more adventurous, and with the risks came more mistakes.  However she did manage to break back in the fourth game and that signalled a streak of four more such ruinations of serve.

4-4 grew into 6-6 and the inevitable tie break, the only way the two were going to be separated.  Errani's experience showed when after spotting Silvia a lead she stormed home to take the break and the set 7-6.

Silvia claimed the initiative in the second set, spurred on no doubt by the disappointment of losing a tight first set.  She broke in the opening game and her dangerous forehand was becoming of increasing concern for Errani, with that shot winning the bulk of the points in the second game where Silvia held serve for a 2-0 lead.

At 2-1 and 40-15 Silvia lost her chance to consolidate her position and Sara grabbed onto the opportunity like a dog with a bone.  Silvia was not to be denied however and struck straight back, her lethal forehand creating mayhem and she went to the front again 3-2.

That was to be her last hurrah, because Sara Errani switched up three or four gears and played the best tennis of the match for the next four games, moving the astonished Spanish player to all parts of the court at times she didn't want to be placed there, using just the right proportions of deftly and punishingly played ground strokes.

The Italian Job was complete 7-6 6-3.

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