How many people that aren't hardcore tennis fans know who Sara Errani is? If she captures two more wins at the 2012 U.S. Open her notoriety will increase significantly.
On Wednesday, the 25-year-old Italian defeated her doubles partner, the No. 20 seed Roberta Vinci in straight sets (6-2, 6-4) to reach the semifinals. This isn't her first deep advancement in a grand slam tournament this year.
She also reached the final of the French Open where she lost to Maria Sharapova in straight sets (3-6, 2-6). Despite the lopsided loss at Roland Garros, there is no denying the progress Errani has made this year.
She's won four tournaments on the WTA tour, which is twice the number she had won in her four years as a professional prior to 2012. Along the way, she's ascended to No. 10 in the WTA rankings.
Much of her success had come as a doubles player with Vinci, but in 2012 she's become a bit more selfish in her accomplishments, and it is paying off.
Not only has she won more tournaments, but naturally she's earned considerably more money in the process. In 2012 Errani has earned over $2.1 million on the court.
That total is more than she had earned in the previous four years combined.
What has caused Errani's improvement? She gives a lot of the credit to her new racquet. In June, she told Tennis-X:
A big change for me really was the racquet. It makes me feel much better on the court, like I have more power and am not too different from the other players in terms of power and those things.
But also physically I worked very hard in the winter — I was doing that every winter, though, so maybe it’s just a mix of everything that’s helping right now.
Maybe the racquet is the difference, maybe it's the confidence she plays with because of the new instrument.
Whatever it is, it's working. More power to her—literally.
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