The final of the ladies Internazionali BNL d’Italia is in play on Sunday, featuring an Italian for the first time in almost 30 years.
Incredibly, Sara Errani managed to make it past my fancy Jelena Jankovic yesterday and into the championship match after the Italian managed to frustrate the Serb into another of her fairly regular meltdowns, this time from 4-1 up in the second set.
But Errani’s luck has surely run out, as she next faces defending champion and world number one Serena Williams.
Serena Williams 1.08 vs Sara Errani 8.00 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 12.35
This preview won’t take too long. I can sum it up in a few words – if Williams is fit she wins and wins very comfortably.
Errani has used the slow conditions to her advantage this week and did so again in beating Jankovic by simply getting everything back into play, which eventually led to major frustration for JJ, but it doesn’t work against the best.
Na Li should and surely would have thumped Errani had she not, somewhat suspiciously, become sick from eating pasta at the tournament before the match and unless something similar or an injury happens to Serena the comprehensive thrashing will take place today rather than in the quarter-finals.
Errani’s feeble serve gets what it deserves by the likes of Li, Williams, Sharapova and Azarenka, against whom Sara has a 2-24 record.
Other than the victory over Li she has won win over Azarenka dating back to 2008 when Vika was world number 17. She simply cannot live with any player that has power and knows how to use it at the right time.
That latter part has seemingly been the problem for plenty of players outside the top-five, but it won’t be today, as Serena will show no mercy to Errani, as she hasn’t done in their six prior meetings.
Errani did take a set back in 2009, but their last meet in similar conditions at the French Open last year ended in a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing.
Serena didn’t seem to have much in the way of fitness issues in beating Ana Ivanovic yesterday and the two sets she won were pretty conclusive, although she did have a poor second set.
The powerful American will latch on to the weak delivery of Errani and belt it back either past her or enabling a weak reply and I don't expect many long rallies here.
Unless she has a set where she can’t find the court this will be done in two and the Williams –6.5 games at 1.83 looks the bet.
The crowd here in Rome will obviously be against Williams, but she won’t mind that and this Rome crowd only tend to make a noise when their player is in contention – there’s little to be heard when they’re favourite is losing.
Expect a stony silence at the Foro Italico on Sunday lunchtime.
Back Williams –6.5 games to beat Errani at 1.83