Sara, Roberta set up all-Italian semi-final

There will be an Italian representative in Saturday night’s women’s final here after compatriots Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci ensured they will play against each other in Friday’s semi-final tussles.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Sat 23 Feb 2013, 12:12 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:53 AM

Errani, who is the world number seven and seeded fifth for this tournament, looked to be in serious trouble at various stages of her last-eight match with Russia’s Nadia Petrova.

She partially let a double break — and 5-1 advantage — slip in the first set for Petrova to bring it back to 5-4 before eventually serving it out in the 10th game.

Petrova reeled off six games in a row thereafter though to dish out a second-set bagel to her younger opponent and duly led 2-1 in the crunch decider.

Sara Errani makes a return to Nadia Petrova in Dubai on Thursday. — KT Photos by Shihab

However, Errani dug deep to win five of the following six games to seal a 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 triumph and secure a last-four showdown with her regular doubles partner Vinci.

“We know each other very well,” Errani explained. “She’s an amazing person outside of the court and she always tries to help you when she can. We stay together maybe 300 days a year and we’ve had many good moments together.

“It will be very tough, of course. She’s normally with me on my side of the net and not on the other, so to see her on the latter shall be tough because one of us will lose.

“It’s though just another tennis match. I’ll try not to think that it’s against her. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You simply try to play the best that you can on the court and that’s it.

“The good thing is that one Italian will be in the final for sure. This is a big tournament and it’s very good for us to be in the semi-final here. It’s amazing!”

Vinci concurred with Errani’s sentiments, admitting that it will be difficult for her as well to compete against someone she regards as a sibling.

“It will be tough if I play with Sara,” the 30-year-old said after her earlier straight-sets success over Australian Samantha Stosur.

“It’s a little bit different mentally because I know her. She’s like a sister to me and we play together all of the time. It will be tough.”

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