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The Dubai tournament now holds an unenviable record after all eight seeds lost in the first two rounds, the first time that phenomenon has ever occurred on the WTA.In addition it was hit by pullouts from the top two players in the world, Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber.They didn't win a tournament over the last eight months of the season. She kept rising in 2013 anyway, winning two singles titles and landing at a career-best twelfth in the world rankings.The reasons aren't surprising: too much success and stress. And late in the season, she helped settle her younger friend down, to put it all in perspective.They're still the number-one ranked doubles team in the world, but Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have definitely lost their mojo.The diminutive Italians dominated 2012, winning two majors and eight tournaments overall, and they kept the momentum going last January by winning their first Australian Open title.Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who are doubles partners and best friends, were planning, as usual, to go to dinner together here last night.Today, however, the two Italians will be on opposite sides of the net when they meet in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
"She's my best friend, so I'm very happy to play against her," Vinci said. And then afterwards we'll be friends, just like before."The other quarter-final in the Italians' half of the draw will see Serena Williams face Serbia's Ana Ivanovic.
Strycova complained of a poor day on serve but ended her semi-final over Garcia with an ace.
"I don't know how, but I made three good serves in the final game," said the 29-year-old with one career title from Quebec five years ago.
She next plays the winner of yesterday's later match between Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli.
Sara Errani from Italy returns the ball to opponent Serena Williams from United States, on the third day of the Dubai Tennis Championships, February 17, 2009. (UPI Photo/Norbert Schiller) Sixth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain regrouped after having her second-round match suspended due to rain by rallying for an 0-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory over American Christina Mc Hale on Friday at the Miami Open.