espnW: Roberta Vinci

Happy Birthday, Sara Errani!

April, 29, 2014
Sara ErraniAP Photo/Andrew BrownbillSara Errani and Roberta Vinci had a lot to celebrate after winning their second straight Australian Open doubles titles in January.

Happy birthday, Sara Errani! The Italian tennis star, who has earned nearly $8.5 million in her career, turns 27 today. Introduced to the sport by her fruit-selling father at the age of 5, Errani quickly emerged as an elite talent and was sent by her parents to train in Florida when she was 12. She turned pro in 2002 and won her first tournament in 2005 on the ITF Tour. She claimed her first WTA singles title in 2008, and has since won six more and has appeared in one Grand Slam singles final, losing to Maria Sharapova at the 2012 French Open. Errani has won 21 doubles titles, including four majors with Roberta Vinci. The pair clinched its second straight Australian Open title in January and hoisted its second trophy of 2014 at the Porsche Grand Prix over the weekend. Currently ranked No. 11 in singles and No. 3 in doubles with Vinci, Errani is scheduled to next play at the Mutua Madrid Open, which begins on Saturday.

Around the world in 80 days

October, 25, 2013
Victoria AzarenkaAP Photo/Andy WongVictoria Azarenka took out Serena-slayer Sloane Stephens in the semis before beating Li Na in the final to win the 2013 Australian Open.

We’ll be going around the world in 80 days when the 2014 Australian Open begins on Jan. 13 in Melbourne. A year ago, the tournament went by the book when the top seeds took home the trophy in the men’s singles and doubles and women’s singles and doubles. Novak Djokovic won his sixth and most recent Grand Slam title Down Under a year ago by beating Andy Murray. In all, the Serb has won four of his major titles in Melbourne. On the women’s side, top-seeded Victoria Azarenka beat Li Na in the final to claim her second Grand Slam title and her second Australian Open crown. In men’s doubles, top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan became the most decorated doubles team in history when they won their 13th major title. They added two more in 2013 – at the French Open and Wimbledon. In women’s doubles, top-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci won their lone major of the year. In mixed doubles, the unseeded Australian duo of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden threw in the plot’s lone twist when they claimed the trophy.

Salute to Italy's stars

October, 14, 2013
Sara Errani AP Photo/Riccardo De LucaSara Errani has won 19 career doubles titles and seven career singles titles and is the top-ranked Italian player at No. 6.

To celebrate Columbus Day, we salute some of the great female athletes from Italy. We start with Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who in 2012 became the first Italian duo to win a Grand Slam doubles title when they won the French Open. The No. 1 team in the world has won two more since. Speaking of winning, Italians swept the individual foil medals at the 2012 London Olympics, with Elisa Di Francisca taking gold, Arianna Errigo taking silver and Valentina Vezzali -- who won gold in Sydney, Athens and Beijing -- winning bronze. The Italians also won gold in team foil. One of Italy’s most popular athletes is swimmer Federica Pellegrini, who holds world records in the 200- and 400-meter freestyle. In 2008 she became the first Italian woman to win a swimming gold, but she returned home without a medal in London. LPGA players Silvia Cavalleri and Giulia Sergas also call Italy home.

Double duty at US Open

September, 4, 2013
Roberta VinciAP Photo/David GoldmanRoberta Vinci is the 10th seed in women's singles and, with partner Sara Errani, the No. 1 seed in women's doubles.
As we begin Day 10 at the 2013 US Open, three women remain in the running to claim more than one trophy at Flushing Meadows. Serena Williams, the 2012 singles champion, not only has made it back to the singles semifinals but will also take to the court with her sister Venus on Wednesday in the third round of the women’s doubles. Roberta Vinci, who will play her quarterfinal women’s singles match on Wednesday, already has advanced to the women’s doubles quarterfinals with partner Sara Errani. Vinci and Errani are the defending champions in women’s doubles. Andrea Hlavackova remains in the title hunt in both women’s doubles and mixed doubles and is scheduled to play twice on Wednesday. First up will be a women’s doubles quarterfinal with partner Lucie Hradecka. Later, she and Max Mirnyi are scheduled to play a mixed doubles semifinal. Hlavackova and Hradecka were the runners-up a year ago at the Open.