World number 1 and top seed, Serena Williams was the overwhelming favourite to win the title at the Internazionali BNL Italia on Sunday afternoon when she took on the challenge of world number 11 and 10th seed, Sara Errani, the first Italian to make the final since 1985. In sunny but blustery conditions, the game plan of each player was clear – Serena wanted to use her power to shorten the points, while Sara was out for long rallies where she could use her considerable talent and clay court experience.
Williams got the final underway and took the first three games as the nervous Errani gave away too many points to last year’s champion, even though the American made a good few unforced errors too. After having her coach on court, Errani got on the scoreboard in the 4th game and Williams again held to lead 4-1. In the 6th game the dogged Italian held from 0-30 and then got one break back on her 3rd break point of the set to close the score to 3-4, but Williams broke again for 5-3 after a winner into the corner flew by Errani who clearly injured her hip or upper thigh. She was taken off court for a medical time out and returned to court only to see the American take the first set 6-3 in 50 minutes of play. The Italian should have retired, but stayed on court as Williams fired shot after shot past her and took the set to love. Errani should not be too disappointed with her week’s work, as she beat two top 10 players and got her first win over a top 3 player too, as well as 585 points and a cheque for €193,190. Serena walked away with 900 points and €387,130.