Unfortunately Sara didn’t make it through to the semifinals at the WTA Championships, but she came much closer than a lot of people thought she would! In her second match, she played against Samantha Stosur (who replaced Petra Kvitova). Sara started well and won the first set 6-3, but then Stosur started to play better, and took the second set 6-2. However, Sara regrouped very well and didn’t lose a game in the 3rd set: 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.
“In the beginning she was making a lot of unforced errors, but in the second set she was playing amazing,” said Sara after the match. “I was just trying to stay focused and aggressive today and I think the third set was better for me.”
In her third match in the group, Sara faced Agnieszka Radwanska to decide who would be going through to the semifinal. In their last match, Sara lost 11 games in a row before finally taking her only game of the match. This match was a very different story! It ended up being the longest match in the history of the WTA Championships, and the longest WTA match of 2012. In the end, Radwanska won 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, though in the second set Sara was only a game away from winning the match. From 7-6, 5-4 up she lost 6 games in a row (including 12 straight point), and though she did get a break back, Radwanska didn’t give the match away.
From halfway through the second set, Sara looked really tired, so it’s impressive that she kept fighting for so long. She said after the match:
“I was dead maybe from the second set, but I just tried to keep fighting. In tennis you have to fight. I just tried to play point by point – even if I was tired, it doesn’t matter. I just thought about fighting, and not other things. But this is tennis. You win or you lose, and that’s it.”
The tournament is not yet over for Sara though. Tomorrow the doubles tournament will start. Sara and Roberta play against Kirilenko/Petrova, as the last match of the day.
You can find our usual collection of articles from the Italian press here. Ubitennis has also posted a video of Sara’s press conference after the 3rd match, and audio interviews with Sara and Pablo Lozano.
Of course there are also new pictures from Istanbul in the photo gallery.