Beyond poor shape, 1-month stop, unexpected fever and 3 hours of play. Sara Errani is back again and made her statement.
Following the stop forced by Fed Cup injury that costed her the partecipation in Dubai’s title defense, Sara Errani made her return in another desert WTA Premier. Her journey resumed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with Mandy Minella – n.76 in world rankings – as opponent.
The Luxembourg native, already faced and defeated 3 times, 2 of which in 2012 in Budapest and Monterrey, tried her best to exploit Sara’s physical uncertainties, managing to get the first set. She also stole another break, but Errani finally reacted to put up a fight and levelled the score with a 6-4.
Third and final clash: the physical struggle was real but our warrior kept pushing. Her body might not follow but her mental toughness was so strong to lead her on a 6-5 position and transform the match point. Final score: 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Our Sarita was happy as exhausted, but a blazing smile camped on her face while talking to the media during press conference:
“I made it here with no expectations whatsoever. My current shape is not enough to play in major events, but my desire of playing never stops. We arrived in Indian Wells a few days early to get the chance to acclimate better and get the best shot I could. I got to settle with what I have now, even though we made the conscious decision to compete instead of planning for the long run.
I was inactive for a long time after the Fed Cup and I started to train well aware of my poor condition. They say it will take a while to get back in shape, but as you saw today, fighting has always been my cup of tea. Feeling hopeful.
I can’t really explain how I’ve made it through the match. I woke up tonight at 1am and found out I was running a temperature of 39”.
And if one victory wasn’t enough to celebrate her comeback, Sarita doubled it up last night. In fact, she earned the second round thanks to the support of Alicja Rosolska: the two rushed off the starting blocks with a double break, and then finished off with another one in the 7th game of the second set. Final score: 6-1, 6-4.
So, Barbora Strycova – n.17 seed in Singles draw – and Sara Errani will spend lots of time together as they will face 2 matches. First they will meet on Stadium 7 today around 13.30pm (local time) in Singles. Then in doubles on Saturday, each supported, respectively, by Mirza and Rosolska.