Published: Tuesday September 4, 2012 MYT 9:16:00 AM
Errani, Vinci to be US Open foes not friends
NEW YORK - Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci will put their friendship to one side Wednesday when they clash in the US Open quarter-finals, the first time Italy has seen two of its players reach the last eight of a major.
Errani, the French Open runner-up and 10th seed in New York, reached the quarter-finals for the first time on Monday when she defeated last year's semi-finalist, German sixth seed Angelique Kerber 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
Vinci, the 30th seed, saw off Polish second seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-4 to qualify for her first Grand Slam quarter-final at the age of 29 and at the 32nd attempt.
"We are very good friends in and outside the court. This is one thing that helps very much on the court, because, you know, the other will try and help the other," said Errani, who has won seven doubles titles this year with Vinci.
One of those trophies was at the French Open this year, a welcome boost after she had lost the singles final to Maria Sharapova.
"But also because we are playing both very good. I think this year we are playing very good tennis," added Errani, who has also won four singles titles in 2012.
Francesca Schiavone remains Italy's only Grand Slam title winner from when she won the 2010 French Open. She was also runner-up to Li Na one year later.
Vinci and Errani are also in the women's doubles quarter-finals in New York and Vinci, a singles winner in Dallas in the run-up to the US Open, insisted their friendship will remain strong whatever the result of Wednesday's tie.
Italy will be guaranteed a semi-finalist with either three-time champion Serena Williams or Ana Ivanovic waiting in the other section of the draw.
"First quarter-final against Sara. I'm happy to play against her, for sure an Italian goes to the semi-final. She's my best friend, so I'm very happy to play against her," said Vinci.
She has also taken inspiration from seeing Schiavone make the quarter-finals in New York in 2010 and Flavia Pennetta do so in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
"When Schiavone won Roland Garros and Flavia goes to top 10, also Sara in the final in Roland Garros, I try to come like the other one for sure, yeah," she said. - AFP