Dubai QF: Sara Errani vs Madison Brengle
An unlikely quarter-final match-up at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships features Sara Errani and Madison Brengle. Errani and Brengle both made lacklustre starts to the season but both have put themselves in a great position to reach a premier level semi-final.
Sara Errani couldn’t have asked for a better pathway to the quarter-finals, the Italian has faced 2 qualifiers on route to the final 8. Errani started the week with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Saisai Zheng before recording a surprisingly comfortable 6-3 6-0 over a wayward Yaroslava Shvedova. Errani’s win over Shvedova was significant given how easily Yaroslava dealt with Errani in their previous meeting at Wimbledon where Shvedova famously won a ‘golden set’ against the Italian. With all seeded players eliminated from the draw, perhaps this is the opportunity Sara Errani needs to turn her disappointing form around?
Madison Brengle has caused 2 big upsets to advance to the quarter-final stage in Dubai for first time in her career. Brengle started the week with a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win over Ekaterina Makarova before eliminating former champion Petra Kvitova from the draw in the second round courtesy of a 0-6 7-6 6-3 win. Brengle showed great fight in each match, the American was a break down in each set against Makarova but showed real determination to finish the match off in two sets. Brengle was totally outplayed by Kvitova in the first set of their second round match, Kvitova requited just 17 minutes to take the lead. However, Brengle wasn’t disheartened and eventually claimed a tight second set before fighting from a break down to win the last 5 games of the match.
Sara Errani won the only previous clash between the pair, a 6-2 2-6 6-3 victory at the Rogers Cup last year. This match-up sees two very defensive players go head-to-head, long rallies will be the theme of this match. I think this is a good match-up for Errani, the Italian will not be blown off the court and will actually get the chance to dictate play in this match-up. Errani has far more variety and class and should be too good to let an opportunity like this slip by.