Errani, Vinci win in doubles before singles match

NEW YORK (AP) - Teammates one afternoon, opponents the next, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci exchanged glances and giggles while sitting side-by-side for a news conference after reaching the U.S. Open doubles semifinals with a victory on Tuesday.

When a reporter asked about the Italians’ singles quarterfinal against each other, scheduled for Wednesday, Errani interrupted.

“Hey, it’s a news conference with both of us here,” she protested kiddingly, then added in a sarcastic voice: “Go ahead, ask her how she’ll play tomorrow.”

Vinci then pretended to start running through her strategy _ “topspin backhands; I’ll stand 7 meters behind the baseline” _ and Errani interrupted again: “Come on, you can’t ask us questions about that!”

Their 6-2, 7-6 (2) victory over the 11th-seeded pair of Germans Julia Goerges and Kveta Peschke assured Errani of moving up to No. 1 in the WTA doubles rankings, with Vinci at No. 2. Errani and Vinci won the French Open doubles title in June.

The American duo of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond had been co-No. 1s, but they lost in the third round at Flushing Meadows.

In singles, the 10th-seeded Errani or 20th-seeded Vinci will give Italy its first female semifinalist at the U.S. Open since the professional era began in 1968.

Errani will be playing in her third career singles Grand Slam quarterfinal _ she was the runner-up at Roland Garros this year _ while Vinci makes her debut at that stage in her 32nd major tournament.

“Playing a Slam quarterfinal for the first time is amazing. There definitely will be some jitters, but I think that’s normal,” Vinci said. “She’s may be used to this sort of thing.”

Right on cue, Errani corrected her doubles partner and pal.

“I wouldn’t say I’m used to it,” Errani objected with a smile. “Not quite.”

Over and over, they looked at each other before answering. They chuckled at each other’s punch lines, rocking in their black leather chairs.

And they assured everyone the plan would be the same Tuesday night as it is every evening during a tournament they’re both entered in.

Dinner _ together.

Back to the same hotel _ together.

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