Sara Errani (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsara erˈrani]; born April 29, 1987) is a professional tennis player from Italy. She is the Italian no. 1 (out of 6 Italians in the top-100). As of 21 April 2014, she is ranked world no. 11 in singles and world no. 6 in doubles. She has won seven career singles titles, and 21 career doubles titles, including four Grand Slam championships and three Premier Mandatory/Premier 5 titles.
Errani's breakthrough season occurred in 2012. At the Australian Open, she reached the quarterfinals in singles and was a finalist in doubles. Known as a clay-courtspecialist, Errani won three titles on clay going into the 2012 French Open, where she reached the finals in both the singles and doubles tournaments, winning the doubles title with her partner Roberta Vinci. They also won the doubles titles at the 2012 US Open, and the 2013 and 2014 Australian Open. Her achievement in reaching the 2012 US Open singles semifinals leaves Wimbledon as the only Grand Slam tournament in which Errani has yet to make the quarterfinals.
- 2 Playing style
- 3 Grand Slam finals
- 4 Career statistics and performance timeline
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Errani was born in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy to Giorgio, a fruit and vegetable seller and Fulvia, a pharmacist. At the age of 12, her father sent her to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. At 16, she moved to Valencia, Spain, to be coached by Pablo Lozano and David Andres.
Errani competed in her first event at the $10,000 Cagliari event in her native Italy in 2002, where she lost to Sun Tiantian. She continued to compete in the ITF, where her best performance of the year was a semifinal appearance in Zaton. She continued to participate mainly on the ITF ciruit, where she won her first tournament over Lucia Jiminez in Melilla, Spain in 2005.Sara Errani at the 2010 US Open
The first WTA title of her career was in the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo, where she defeated Mariya Koryttseva. On July 27, 2008, she captured her second career title in two weeks, defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues. She has also won six doubles WTA titles.
In 2009, Errani was the runner-up at two WTA tournaments: in Palermo and Portorož, as the defending champion in both. Errani was defeated in the first round of the 2009 French Open by defending champion Ana Ivanovic, whom she would beat in the third roundthree years later.
Errani reached the third round in every Grand Slam except the French Open in 2010, where she lost in the first round. At the 2010 US Open, she upset Alisa Kleybanova in the second round, before losing to eventual quarterfinalist Samantha Stosur in the third round.
At the beginning of 2012, Errani decided to change her racquet, switching from Wilson to Babolat, opting for a heavier and slightly longer model than the last, allowing for more power and better reach. This change caused her to return her $30,000 endorsement fee to Wilson. However, she and several commentators cite the new racquet as a reason for her improved game and her entry into the top 10 of the WTA rankings. In the first five months of 2012, she won three singles titles, earning over $1.3 million in prize money. Errani herself dubbed her new racquet "Excalibur", named after the sword of King Arthur.Sara Errani at the 2012 New Haven Open at Yale
At the 2012 Australian Open Errani advanced to her first grand slam quarterfinal, defeating Nadia Petrova, Sorana Cîrstea, and Jie Zheng en route, before losing to Petra Kvitová. Her ranking jumped to world no. 33, a career best. At the Abierto Monterrey Open, she was the second seed and reached the semifinals, losing to eventual champion Tímea Babos, but she triumphed on the clay in Acapulco as the third seed, winning her third career title. She defeated fellow Italians Roberta Vinci, and second seed Flavia Pennetta in her last two matches. Errani fell in the opening round of Indian Wells to Vania King, and in the second round of the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open against Sloane Stephens.
As the seventh seed at the Barcelona Ladies Open, Errani stormed to her fourth career title and second of the year, not dropping a set, beating second seededJulia Görges in the quarterfinals, Carla Suárez Navarro in the semifinals, and Dominika Cibulková in the final. Afterwards, her ranking rose to world no. 28. In the Fed Cup semifinals against the Czech Republic, Errani lost to Petra Kvitová, but beat Andrea Hlaváčková, with Italy losing the tie. On May 7, 2012 Errani won the2012 Budapest Grand Prix, tying countrywoman Roberta Vinci for the most titles won by an Italian female in a year at three.
Her performance continued to improve when she reached the finals of the 2012 French Open. En route she defeated Casey Dellacqua, Melanie Oudin, and 2008 and 2009 French Open winners Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova, respectively. She secured a place in the semifinals by eliminating the German tenth seedAngelique Kerber, her first win over a current top-10 player. In the semifinals, she overcame the reigning US Open champion and 2010 French Open finalistSamantha Stosur to reach her first Grand Slam singles final opposite Maria Sharapova. Errani lost in the final. However, her progress in this tournament helped her achieve the no. 10 ranking.
In addition to her singles wins, Errani also won six doubles titles with Roberta Vinci including the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open, the 2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, and the 2012 French Open. She and Vinci also made the finals of the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open and the 2012 Australian Open.
At Wimbledon, Errani lost in the third round to Yaroslava Shvedova, suffering the humiliating loss of the first Golden Set (i.e. a set in which every point is won by the same player) in the women's tennis open era, and second ever recorded. In the month of July, at the Italiacom Open 2012, Errani, without losing a set, won her fourth title of the year, the sixth in her career. She defeated the Czech Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová(seeded eighth) in the final. Errani then lost in the first round of the singles competition at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
She then played the 2012 Rogers Cup, where she lost in the third round to eventual finalist Li Na. She then lost to Venus Williams in the third round of the Western & Southern Open. She then played the New Haven Open as the fourth seed. She reached the semifinals by beating fifth seed Marion Bartoli. She lost in the semifinals to Petra Kvitová. At the US Open, Errani had a slow start by beating Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco in three sets. However, she easily defeated the Russians Vera Dushevina and Olga Puchkova. She lost only three games in these two rounds. In the fourth round, she defeated sixth seed, Angelique Kerber. In the quarterfinals, she defeated her doubles partner, Roberta Vinci, to come into the semifinals, where she lost in straight sets to eventual champion Serena Williams. With this result, she is the first Italian woman in the Open Era to reach the semifinals of the US Open, and the first Italian woman ever to come at least into semifinals of two different majors.
Errani partnered again with Vinci for the US Open. They were seeded second, behind the defending champions Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond. Errani and Vinci won the US Open women's doubles final. As of result, she reached the no. 1 spot on 10 September 2012.
At the end of the year she took part in the WTA Tour Championships for the first time in her career. Here, she was defeated in straight sets by Maria Sharapova, but she beat Samantha Stosur in the following match; she lost to fourth seed Agnieszka Radwańska in a match lasting three hours and 29 minutes (the longest best-of-three-set match in WTA Championships history). With that loss, Errani did not advance beyond the round-robin stage. She finished her breakthrough year as no. 6 in the world in WTA singles rankings.
Errani started the year in the Premier event in Brisbane. In the first round, she defeated a qualifier, Olga Puchkova of Russia. She then lost to Daniela Hantuchová. Errani had better results at Sydney, where she beatMaria Kirilenko, the 14th seed, in two sets en route to the quarterfinals. However, she lost to eventual finalist, Dominika Cibulková, the 15th seed, easily. She was the seventh seed at the Australian Open, where she had reached the quarterfinals in 2012. However, she was defeated by Carla Suárez Navarro in the first round. In the doubles tournament, Errani, partnering with Vinci, won her third Grand Slam title, beating Australian wildcards Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the final.
She reached the final of the Open GDF Suez in Paris, losing to Mona Barthel. At the Qatar Ladies Open, she reached the quartefinals, but she lost to Victoria Azarenka in straight sets. However, she won her third doubles title of the year, with Vinci, beating Petrova and Srebtonik in the final. One week later, she came into the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championship, beating Nadia Petrova in three sets. Here, she defeated her doubles partner Roberta Vinci, reaching her second singles final of the year where she lost to Petra Kvitová in three sets. At the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Errani reached her third final of the year (the second in a row) facing Carla Suárez Navarro. She won the final in two sets, her seventh singles title.Sara Errani at the 2013 Roland Garros
Her next tournament was Indian Wells, where she was seeded sixth and reached the quarterfinals, where she lost to the eventual champion Maria Sharapova in straight sets. The following week, she played in Miami, where she was the eighth seed; she received a bye into the second round, and then she defeated Daniela Hantuchová and Simona Halepeasily. In the fourth round, she faced Ana Ivanovic and beat her, reaching her second Premier Mandatory's quarterfinal in a row against Maria Sharapova, but for the fourth time in a row, she lost to the Russian in straight sets.
In the first week of May, her next tournament was the Mutua Madrid Open, where, defeating Urszula Radwańska, Sorana Cîrstea, Varvara Lepchenko, and Ekaterina Makarova, she reached the semifinal, her first in a WTA Premier Mandatory, where she was beaten by Serena Williams in straight sets. She reached the semifinal at Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where she was defeated by Victoria Azarenka.
As fifth seed, she played in 2013 French Open and, trying to defend the final of the last year. She defeated Arantxa Rus, Yulia Putintseva, and Sabine Lisicki to reach the fourth round, where she struggled to upset the Spanish Carla Suarez Navarro. In the quarterfinal, Errani beat the fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, her first win over a current top-5 player. However, in the semifinal, she lost to a perfect Serena Williams in straight sets. In doubles, with Roberta Vinci, she reached her fifth Grand Slam final, but they lost to the Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
She was defeated by Monica Puig in straight sets in the first round of Wimbledon 2013, despite being seeded fifth. She reached the final in Palermo, where she was defeated byRoberta Vinci. Then she played in Rogers Cup as fifth seed, and for the first time, she reached the quarterfinals, where she was defeated by third seed Agnieszka Radwanska. InCincinnati she lost in the third round to Roberta Vinci again, while at the US Open she suffered a tough lost in the second round to Flavia Pennetta, eventual semifinalist; in the doubles, as defending champion, she lost in the quarterfinals to Williams sisters.
In Tokyo, at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, Errani was eliminated in straight sets by Svetlana Kuznetsova, while at the China Open she defeated Kirsten Flipkens and Misaki Doi, before losing to Petra Kvitova in three sets. She was the sixth player qualified for the 2013 WTA Tour Championships for the second consecutive time. There, she was defeated by Victoria Azarenka in straight sets, after leading 5-2 and 6-5 in the first set and after having a calf injury. Then she was defeated by Li Na in three sets, after saving three match points, one of those when she was 3-5 down. Out of the semifinals, she defeated for the first time the former World n.1 Jelena Jankovic in straight sets.
Errani began her season at the 2014 Shenzhen Open, where she fell in the second round to American Vania King. She then travelled to Australia to compete in the Sydney International, where she reached the quarterfinals in singles, and was a finalist in doubles with Roberta Vinci, losing to Timea Babos and Lucie Šafářová. At the 2014 Australian Open, she lost her opening match against Julia Goerges of Germany. However, the doubles was completely different, as she and Vinci successfully defended their title, defeating first-time Australian Open finalists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia in three sets to claim their fourth Grand Slam title. The following week she managed to defend the final at the Open GDF Suez in Paris, by beating Alizé Cornet 7-6 3-6 7-6, but she lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets 6-3 2-6 3-6, after winning the first and having a break either in the second or in the third ones.
During the 2012 season, Errani became known for producing a high first-serve percentage. Having won multiple titles on clay, she is widely recognized as a clay-court specialist, and is renowned for her use of strategy on the surface—including her tendency to position herself well, and to return serves early. Being a doubles specialist as well, she is noted for her speed around the court, and for hitting the ball with a lot of spin, as well as for her deep and loopy groundstrokes. She is known to have one of the weaker serves on the tour.
|Runner-up||2012||French Open||Clay||||3–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||2012||Australian Open||Hard||||||7–5, 4–6, 3–6|
|Winner||2012||French Open||Clay||||||4–6, 6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||2012||US Open||Hard||||||6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||2013||Australian Open||Hard||||||6–2, 3–6, 6–2|
|Runner-up||2013||French Open||Clay||||||5–7, 2–6|
|Winner||2014||Australian Open||Hard||||||6–4, 3–6, 7–5|