Sara Errani reflects on success & disappointment in Dubai

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Sara Errani will be playing in her second Dubai Duty Free final.

Sara Errani held off a strong challenge to defeat Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-4 and reach her second final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

In a match of long baseline rallies, each player struggled to gain the upper hand. Svitolina saved a break point in the opening game and was then broken for 2-1 when she netted a forehand, but Errani’s lead was short-lived as she double-faulted in the next game to drop her own serve. Svitolina then faced break point for the third straight game but held for 3-2, before Errani broke again at 3-3 on her fifth break point.

Svitolina continued to struggle in her service games in the second set, fighting off two break points to hold for 1-0, breaking for 3-1 but then allowing Errani to immediately break back and then break again to lead 4-3. In the closest of battles, Errani then had to recover from 0-30 as she closed out the match.

Errani will face Barbora Strycova in the final on Saturday.












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Mladenovic: Sporting success in our family DNA

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Kristina Mladenovic's father, Dragan, played handball for Yugoslavia.

It’s always great having my family around at a tournament.

I come from a very athletic family, where each one of us competed – or has competed in a sport.

I’m so proud of all of us. What is crazy is that we are four, my mum, my dad, myself and my younger brother and we all play different sports.

What is cool about it is that we all – almost – are professional. I say ‘almost’ because my brother is the younger one and he’s now trying to turn professional and he just signed his first contract with a professional club and my dad used to be a handball goalkeeper playing for the national ex-Yugoslavia team and for many years in the first division in France, very famous, he has an Olympic gold medal, and my mum used to play volleyball also at the highest level for the national team of former Yugoslavia.

My younger brother he’s a very promising and talented footballer. And me tennis, I managed to make a career out of it as well, so sport really is in our blood in our family.

The nicest thing is that our parents didn’t push us to go into sport. We’re not doing their sport, some families, the parents try to push the kids and kind of relive a second time their life that they enjoyed, to live it a second time. But for us it’s completely different, it’s not like that at all.

We’re also very competitive with each other. When we go on holidays, we play beach volley – I also used to be play volleyball when I was younger – or we would make goals and my dad would be the goalkeeper and my brother and I would shoot overheads, trying to score goals past him. It’s quite a fun dynamic.

We are all talented and can play any sport really. Sometimes it’s annoying for our friends because when they come over to our house, we only watch sport on TV, if not football, it’s volleyball, if not that it’s handball or tennis…

It helps so much that my parents were professional athletes themselves because every day I have such great support from them, they understand my life, you don’t have to explain things.

Sometimes when you’re not in the same job or environment, there can be some misunderstandings but with our family it’s so nice, we are all so sporty.

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Errani edges out Svitolina to reach second Dubai final

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In 2013 Sara Errani was beaten by Petra Kvitova in the Dubai Duty Free final.

Sara Errani held off a strong challenge to defeat Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-4 and reach her second final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

In a match of long baseline rallies, each player struggled to gain the upper hand. Svitolina saved a break point in the opening game and was then broken for 2-1 when she netted a forehand, but Errani’s lead was short-lived as she double-faulted in the next game to drop her own serve. Svitolina then faced break point for the third straight game but held for 3-2, before Errani broke again at 3-3 on her fifth break point.

Errani was again unable to hold on to her lead as Svitolina levelled at 4-4, but Svitolina in turn dropped her serve for a third time to give Errani a 5-4 lead. This time Errani managed to retain her lead and hold serve to claim the opening set.

Svitolina continued to struggle in her service games in the second set, fighting off two break points to hold for 1-0, breaking for 3-1 but then allowing Errani to immediately break back and then break again to lead 4-3. In the closest of battles, Errani then had to recover from 0-30 as she closed out the match.

Errani will face either Barbora Strycova in Saturday’s final.

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