A compelling final will take place on Sunday afternoon, as World No. 1 Serena Williams and Italian No. 1 Sara Errani will meet for a seventh time on the professional tour in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Serena leads the head-to-head series 6-0 and has been entirely dominant throughout the series.
Although it was far from smooth sailing, Serena Williams overcame a second-set loss of focus to defeat Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 and arrive at the final of the Italian Open. It was a strong win for the American, as Ivanovic was coming into the match-up riding some significant momentum with two WTA titles and a victory over Maria Sharapova as well.
“She played really well in the second set and at the same time my first serve percentage dropped. She’s a great returner, so she put me under a lot of pressure because of that,” Williams said. “I lost my concentration a little bit, so at the start of the third set I just tried to get really pumped, keep myself focused and pretty much do everything to play my best tennis.”
On her upcoming opponent Sara Errani:
“I think that she’s improved immensely, even in just the last two weeks,” Williams said when asked about Errani. “She’s taken her game to another level and has a lot of confidence having beaten two really good Top 10 players. I have a lot of work to do to beat her and she also has nothing to lose”
Following her remarkable upset victory against Li Na, the hometown favourite followed up with a big win over Jelena Jankovic to arrive at her first ever final in Rome. Her performance against the top ranked Serb was one of her best this year, as she only commit 11 unforced errors and overcame a break in the second set to finish the match 6-3, 7-5.
“I just tried to keep focused on my game and what I had to do,” Errani said. “The motivation was the crowd. They were unbelievable and I have no words to say what it is like to play on this court with this support. Amazing!”
Williams leads Errani 6-0 in the head-to-head series, with three of those wins taking place on clay, including their most recent two encounters. While the Italian is coming off a fantastic week in front of her adoring fans, it is not likely to give her much of a boost against Williams, who has overpowered her in all of their previous meetings.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets