Errani beats Svitolina to reach second Dubai final

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Dubai—Sara Errani reached her second final at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday as she defeated Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4.
The Dubai event, now holding an unenviable WTA record after all eight seeds lost in the first two rounds, is struggling through, with Errani to face the winner from Czech Barbora Strycova and Caroline Garcia of France in the final.
Errani, ranked 22nd, took almost two hours to hold off her 21st-ranked opponent, finishing with 31 unforced errors and just a dozen winners under a hot desert sun.
The Italian will be playing in her 19th career final and bidding for her ninth singles title. She holds leads against both potential opponents, standing 4-2 against Garcia and 5-1 over Strycova.
Errani took five of 14 break point opportunites, while losing her own serve three times.
“It was really tough today, it was hot,” she said. “Most of the games were very long with a lot of points.
“I just tried to play focused on every one. I’m really excited to play another final, it’s amazing.”
Errani finished runner-up in 2013 to Petra Kvitova at the Aviation Club. Earlier, Sara Errani struggled through a match littered with 39 break point chances to post a difficult 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Madison Brengle for a place in semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, ranked 38th, beat Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-4, and will play the winner of the other quarter-final between Serb Ana Ivanovic and Czech Barbora Strycova.
The top seeds had already crashed out, the first time in WTA or ATP history that all eight seeds did not win a single match.
The 22nd-ranked Errani is the only player left who has ever made an impression in Dubai, with the remainder of the field all newcomers to potential success at the Aviation Club.
“She did not miss a ball,” Errani said. “It’s not easy to play against her. In the beginning there was a lot of wind.”
Errani fought from 1-4 down in the final set after starting off poorly by dropping the first to number 60 Brengle.
The Italian converted on ten of 22 break points while American Brengle converted seven of 17.
“It was difficult for me to play the ball, I could have lost easily, I just kept fighting.
“Just to be in the semi-final for me is an amazing result. I’ll try to play the next match, doing my best.” Garcia recovered after two losses to Petkovic, who is playing this season with a new coaching and fitness team in place.
“You always have to fight and work hard against Andrea, she is big fighter, always trying to come back,” Garcia said.
“It was very difficult conditions, very windy. Sometimes it was not very nice tennis, not very rhythmic, but you have to stay focused and just keep your tactics.”—AFP