Masha is out of the Rome Open with physical issues; Sara will face the Bielo-Russian.
Maria Sharapova retired out of the Internazionale BNL d’Italia with a physical problem. The announcement, made around 11:20am (local time) opens the way for Sara Errani to the semi-finals, a first in her career. This was the first surprising result from the Foro Italico today. Errani will meet the ex-number one, Vika Azarenka, who beat Samantha Stosur in 3 sets (6-4, 1-6, 6-3).
Surprise: In a tournament full of retirements (Andy Murray being the most notable), no one expected that the 2012 Women’s champion would be among them. The Russian seemed in perfect form in her first 2 matches, winning 6-2, 6-2 against the Spaniard Muguruza, and 6-2, 6-1 against the US player Stephens. Errani got the news after breakfast, and was understandably surprised, before reorganizing her schedule and pre-match routine. In the end, she arranged to spend the afternoon with family.[The following is a transcription of the Errani interview on the video featured on the link below. I didn't translate the first video, or twitters, as they would have been originally in English, anyway. But do watch the charming Errani in her native Italian. This is what she said:]
Yes, I’m lucky, but I have to stay calm. It would have been great to have played a match against her [Sharapova] today. I don’t understand exactly why she couldn’t play, but for me the tournament goes on. I have to stay concentrated, calm, to be ready for tomorrow. It’s not bad to have a day off to get back to a little bit of form.
Yes, the ranking matters, the #5 is a big accomplishment for me. In terms of being “in form,” the “form” changes from one day to the next. One day you can be in excellent shape, and two days later you might feel not so great, so it’s not like “form” lasts so much time, at a clip.
I’m happy because this year I’ve been consistent. So many great matches, so many great results, so many positives for me.
For sure they’re really strong players [Stosur and Azarenka]. That goes without saying. Stosur is so strong on clay, and Azarenka is strong everywhere. So we’ll see who I play against. I’ll talk with my team when I know who the opponent is. [Translator's note: The opponent will be Azarenka.] [Re: memories] I came here [Rome] as a little girl and I wanted to ask the players for their autographs, but I was too shy. I remember getting close to some of the players, but I never had the nerve to ask.
I remember [Vince] Spadea, actually, because he was one of the ones I managed to ask. (Laughter.) One of the strongest memories; that one stays with me because I finally had the nerve to ask for an autograph. I don’t remember any others. I don’t remember. I had a poster of Mary Pierce (that I dragged around.)
Maybe one of my biggest memories is when I played Hingis after the qualifiers on Campo Centrale. I lost 6-1, 6-0, but that was one of my clearest early memories at the Foro Italico.