Paris, France (Sports Network) - Sara Errani and Mona Barthel were semifinal
winners Saturday and will meet for the title at the GDF Suez Open.
The top-seeded Errani needed only 24 minutes to advance, as the Italian held a
5-0 lead in the opening semifinal when Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens was forced to
retire with back pain.
Barthel then disposed of France's Kristina Mladenovic, 6-1, 6-4, in the second
Errani was last year's French Open runner-up and won four titles in 2012, but
was off to a sluggish start this year. She was bounced in the second round at
Brisbane and lost in the quarterfinals at Sydney before a first-round flameout
against Carla Suarez Navarro at the Australian Open.
Suarez Navarro nearly knocked her out this week, too, but the 25-year-old
managed to gut out a three-set win in the quarterfinals on Friday. Errani's
other two matches this week ended in first-set retirements, as Magdalena
Rybarikova also called it quits in a second-round affair.
Errani is 6-4 all-time in title matches, while Barthel will appear in just her
third final. The 22-year-old German lost to Elena Vesnina in Hobart earlier
this year after winning the same Australian Open tune-up in 2012.
Sunday's final will mark the first meeting between the two and the winner will
earn a first prize of $125,000.
The Sports Network