Vinci triumphs, Halep’s winning streak continues

AFP, PALERMO, Italy

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 - Page 18

Roberta Vinci won the Palermo Open on Sunday with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over her close friend and defending champion Sara Errani as the two Italians produced an entertaining finale to the WTA event.

Errani, who also won in Palermo in 2008 and teamed up with Vinci to win a the doubles crown in 2011, dropped the first set 6-3, before bouncing back to level the match by the same score and sending it to a deciding set.

However, 30-year-old Vinci held her nerve to close out the match 6-3 for her 10th WTA title and is now on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 10 players.

Her best individual result at a Grand Slam was last year when she reached the quarter-finals of the US Open, but the Taranto native has teamed up with her off-court chum Errani to win the doubles titles at last year’s French Open and US Open, before they made it a hat-trick of major wins at this year’s Australian Open.

They were also both on the Italian team that won the 2009 and 2010 Fed Cups with victories on both occasions over the US.

BUDAPEST GRAND PRIX

AFP, BUDAPEST

Romanian third seed Simona Halep continued her hot run of form on Sunday as she won the Budapest Grand Prix with a hard-fought 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1 victory over Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger.

It was the 21-year-old’s third victory in a month following her maiden triumph on the WTA tour at the Nuremburg Open last month, before winning in ’s-Hertogenbosch a week later.

Meusberger, who came into the tournament ranked 112 in the world, will see her stock rise after leveling the match with a 9/7 tiebreak win in the second set, before running out of steam in the decider.

Halep broke her opponent’s serve nine times and has now lost just once in 17 matches as she threatens to break into the world’s top 20.