Errani Wins Barcelona, Second Sweep Of Year
It was a meaningful day in many ways for Sara Errani on Sunday, as she not only swept the Barcelona Ladies Open singles and doubles titles, but she also made a special dedication to a fallen countryman.
The No.7-seeded Errani didn't lose a set en route to the final and brought out that top form again, keeping her errors down and using her heavy topspin groundstrokes to outdo No.3-seeded Dominika Cibulkova for the title, 62 62.
"Clay courts are probably better for me than for Cibulkova," Errani said. "She hits very hard and is very fast, but while she can hit two winners in a row, she can also hit consecutive errors - knowing that I knew I had to keep up with her pace, keep the ball deep and be very solid, but also stay aggressive.
"I'm very happy because it's the second tournament I've won in an amazing season for me. It wasn't an easy tournament. There were really good players here. The last two matches were quicker than I thought they would be."
It was the fourth straight year an Italian has captured the Barcelona Ladies Open, following Roberta Vinci's win in 2009, Francesca Schiavone's win in 2010 and Vinci winning again in 2011. "Italians have been very lucky here," Errani commented. "Barcelona is an amazing city. I live in Valencia and my coach and I came by car, so we've been seeing the city. It's an amazing city."
Speaking of Italians, Errani dedicated the victory to Piermario Morosini, an Italian soccer player who died on Saturday, collapsing on the pitch during the Livorno-Pescara match and dying of cardiac arrest. He was just 25.
"This tournament is for him," an emotional Errani said. "It has been very hard. The images have impacted me a lot. It's amazing that these things can happen. It really makes you think. It brings you back to reality and makes you realize many of the things we compain about in life are just pure nonsense.
"You have to enjoy every minute of life."
Errani and Vinci later won the doubles title, routing Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone in an all-Italian final in 50 minutes, 60 62. Errani and Vinci now have three WTA doubles titles together this year (also Monterrey and Acapulco) and eight overall (they won two in 2010 and three in 2011).
"A title isn't something you always achieve, so each one is so important," Vinci said. "Sara and I had a great match today. Flavia and Francesca had a great week and I hope they achieve their best tennis in the weeks to come."
It was Errani's second singles-doubles sweep of the year - the 24-year-old Italian also achieved it in Acapulco. She is the first player since 2009 to pull off two singles-doubles sweeps in the same year (Serena Williams did it in 2009, sweeping Grand Slam events at the Australian Open and Wimbledon).
"Winning a tournament is always special, and if you do it twice in one week it's something extraordinary," Errani added. "It has been a perfect week."
What's next for her? "Now I have Fed Cup against Czech Republic, then I play in Budapest, Madrid and Rome. I don't have any goals for Roland Garros - I just try to go week by week and try to achieve my best every tournament. I still have some time before Roland Garros, and I'll try to get the best out of myself."
Cibulkova was seeking her first clay court title and fell to 1-4 in WTA finals (her title came at the Premier-level indoor hardcourt event in Moscow last year).
"I felt I was rushing today," the Slovak said. "Sara played very well - I tried to move her around the court but my game wasn't very accurate. But it has been a positive week, my first final of the year and in my first matches of the year on clay. So I must have played well and it was very positive result for me."