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Internazionali BNL d'Italia
Saturday Women's Tennis Summary
Singles - Semifinal: (2) Maria Sharapova def. (12) Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-4
This doesn't mean much for Maria Sharapova in the short term; she remains #2. And yet, if we look at the Top Ten in clay points earned over the last year, it's a fascinating list:
1. Li: 2990
2. Sharapova: 2240
3. SWilliams: 1865
4. Azarenka: 1645
5. Schiavone: 1463
6. Errani: 1230
7. Bartoli: 1022
8. Radwanska: 931
9. Medina Garrigues: 915
10. Vinci: 902
Sharapova is now within a thousand points of Victoria Azarenka in the rankings, and she is healthy and Azarenka is hurting. Sharapova, based on current clay form, really and truly looks like the favorite to win Roland Garros (yes, we're as shocked as you are!), and if she does, she will not only complete the career Grand Slam but very possibly take over the #1 ranking.
Who would have guessed it thirteen months ago?
For that matter, who would have guessed where Angelique Kerber would be? We've been saying she wouldn't hit the Top Ten. Well, our numbers show her "merely" tied with Vera Zvonareva, but she will win the tiebreak. So she should be #10 next week -- another career high, of course.
Incidentally, Kerber was supposed to play Brussels. She was supposed to be the #3 seed. But she pulled out citing a back injury. One suspects she is just tired, but it's a chance for yet another career high gone.
Singles - Semifinal: (8) Li Na def. (9) Serena Williams walkover (back)
Serena may yet go undefeated on clay this year, but she won't win every event she entered. Perhaps she realized that she couldn't get to #4 and decided to rest up for Paris. She had a very long run, after all. For Li Na, this is close to ideal -- she gets finalist points without too much additional effort. She also rises to #7, passing Marion Bartoli.
Doubles - Semifinal:
Huber/Raymond don't like clay much, but it is amazing how well Errani/Vinci have played this clay season. They won Madrid, and now this. If their nerves don't get to them, we'd consider them the Roland Garros favorites.
Doubles - Semifinal: Makarova/Vesnina def. Hampton/Tatishvili 6-3 6-3
Back-to-back finals for Makarova/Vesnina -- and both against Errani/Vinci. Now they just have to win one!