Errani breaks new ground as Strycova struggles

Sara Errani capitalised on a truly woeful performance from Barbora Strycova to claim the biggest title of her career to date at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Although Errani has now won nine events on the WTA Tour, her previous successes had all come in international-level tournaments.

However, the 28-year-old Italian was gifted a maiden WTA Premier title on Saturday as her opponent delivered an error-strewn display to go down 6-0 6-2 in an hour and seven minutes.

Having impressed on her way to the final of a tournament that brought early exits for all of the seeded players, Strycova was simply unable to find any rhythm on this occasion – a host of early mistakes setting the tone for the contest.

Strycova’s forehand proved particularly wild and her frustration was clear as she swiftly surrendered the opening set.

The rock-solid Errani, whose own form coming into this event had been poor, immediately claimed another break prior to Strycova finally getting on the board in the third game of set two.

Any hopes of a fightback were swiftly extinguished as the Czech dropped serve again and Errani overcame an apparent bout of nerves in what proved the final game to clinch victory.

Strycova saved four championship points, but her 43rd unforced error brought an end to proceedings, prompting an emotional celebration from Errani.

At the subsequent presentation, Strycova apologised to the crowd for her below-par display, stating: “I’m sorry to keep it [the final] so short, but nothing was working.”

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