Tag Archives: competitor

Arsenal on alert as Hugo Lloris admits Tottenham future uncertain

Arsenal on alert as goalkeeper Lloris admits Spurs future hangs in the balance

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UPDATED:

08:01 GMT, 16 November 2012

Unsettled Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris insists he could be forced to quit the north London club in search of regular first-team football.

The 12million summer signing from Lyon has started just one Barclays Premier League game for Spurs, and speaking ahead of Saturday's derby clash with Arsenal, the 25-year-old admitted the situation is 'difficult to accept'.

French fancy: The Spurs stopper in action during France's 2-1 win in Italy

French fancy: The Spurs stopper in action during France's 2-1 win in Italy

Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger was a serious contender to sign Lloris ahead of their rivals during the summer but was put off over Lyon's asking price.

But Lloris' latest admission could see the Arsenal boss – who will attempt to sign a new keeper in January – renew his interest.

Lloris, who has returned to London after playing for France in their midweek win over Italy, admits his future hangs in the balance.

When asked if he might quit Andre Villas-Boas' side in January, the stopper said: 'I feel much at ease at the club but then again everything is possible.

'The coach of Tottenham has made his choice. 'I'm training and I do the maximum but it is difficult and hard to accept.

'Such questions over my position must also be asked to the coach.

'When you're a competitor, you want to be on the pitch.

Luis Carreira dies ahead of Macau Grand Prix

Carreira dies ahead of Macau Grand Prix in latest tragedy to rock motorsport

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UPDATED:

13:09 GMT, 15 November 2012

Motorsport has been rocked by the death of another biker – Luis Carreira – ahead of the Macau Grand Prix.

The tragedy comes a year after MotoGP legend Marco Simoncelli died in a horrific crash at the race in Malaysia.

Superbikes Carreira, the 35-year-old Portuguese, crashed on Fisherman's Bend during qualifying today at the Guia circuit. No other riders were involved in the accident.

Tragedy: Luis Carreira died in qualifying at the Macau Grand Prix

Tragedy: Luis Carreira died in qualifying at the Macau Grand Prix

Race organisers said two doctors went to the rider's aid and he was then taken to a hospital but was declared dead about 20 minutes after arriving.

A statement from the Macau Grand Prix committee read: 'We regret to announce that Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira, competitor No 33, from Portugal, in the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 46th edition, has succumbed to injuries sustained in a racing accident during the qualifying session this afternoon.

'No other rider was involved in the incident, which occurred at Fisherman’s Bend at 15.58. The qualifying session was immediately red flagged.

Death: Carreira died after being rushed to hospital

Death: Carreira died after being rushed to hospital

'The medical services, a fast intervention vehicle, fully equipped, and an ambulance with two doctors in attendance, which were located at the side of the accident immediately went to the rider’s aid, and as a result of the doctors’ diagnosis, Mr Carreira was immediately evacuated by ambulance to the Hospital, where he was admitted at 16.08.

'Continuous CPR was performed, however he succumbed to his injuries at 16.28.

'The Macau Grand Prix Committee has contacted the family and the members of the team, and the Committee expresses its sincere condolences.

'The qualifying session was abandoned at 16.30.'

Carreira raced for the Bennimoto Raider-Cetelem team.

Edgar Davids takes part in Barnet training

Davids back in orange… but this is Barnet, not Holland! Legend starts life at League Two basement side

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UPDATED:

13:49 GMT, 12 October 2012

Edgar Davids was all smiles as he took part in his first training session at The Hive as Barnet's new joint head coach on Friday.

The Dutch legend, who had spells with Ajax, Juventus and Barcelona, joined the Football League's bottom club on Thursday night and hopes to also feature as a player within two weeks.

Davids will link up with incumbent manager Mark Robson who has yet to taste victory after 13 games in charge.

Listen up: Edgar Davids (third left) has joined Barnet as joint head coach

Listen up: Edgar Davids (third left) has joined Barnet as joint head coach

Edgar Davids

Edgar Davids

On the ball: Davids is planning on appearing as a player for the club

The 39-year-old has been out of football since a brief playing stint with Crystal Palace in 2010.

Davids
told the club's website: 'I'm happy to explore my possibilities and
share my knowledge and experience with Barnet Football Club. I am very
excited about the challenge ahead.'

Davids

Davids

Tough competitor: Davids is ready to take the football league by storm

Davids first announced the news on Twitter, where he also stated his intention be part of the playing squad at Underhill.

He said: 'Happy to say I will join my local football club Barnet fc as a player/coach.'

Robson was relishing his partnership with Davids, who played 74 times for Holland.

Concentration: Davids is hoping Barnet can benefit from his experience

Concentration: Davids is hoping Barnet can benefit from his experience

Davids

'I am delighted to welcome Edgar to our club,' said Robson. 'His experience as a player throughout his illustrious career will be a massive benefit to all our players and I look forward to forming a strong partnership with him.'

Barnet have struggled under Robson. They sit at the foot of the League Two table, with no wins and just three points from their 11 games this season.

Edgar Davids during training

Edgar Davids with John Oster

In charge: Davids hopes to combine his coaching role with some playing time for Barnet

Robson was placed in charge of Barnet back in June, taking over from Martin Allen, whose short-term contract expired after the Bees stayed up on the last day of last season.

He was put in control of first-team matters as well as aiding the development of academy football at Barnet in what was described as a 'comprehensive transformation of the club's footballing strategy'.
Results have not followed, though, leading the club to turn to Davids.

High profile: Davids is an amazing capture for Barnet

High profile: Davids is an amazing capture for Barnet

Director of football Paul Fairclough said: 'The capture of Davids is a statement of intent by our club to improve results and lay further foundations for the future.

'Edgar is a world renowned footballer and will be a great example to all our young players.'

In a glittering career, Davids won a vast array of silverware including one Champions League title, one UEFA Cup, three Serie A crowns and three in the Dutch Eredivisie.

He first retired from football when his second stint at Ajax ended in 2008, but had a three-month spell at Palace in 2010.

London 2012 Olympics: Oscar Pistorius – I wasn"t proving a point

Blade Runner Pistorius humbled by London roar and insists he had no point to prove

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UPDATED:

00:49 GMT, 6 August 2012

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Oscar Pistorius insisted he was not at the London Olympics to prove a point as he bowed out of the 400 metres.

The 25-year-old, who has made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in an Olympics, finished last in his semi-final in 46.54 seconds.

The South African's participation remained controversial four years on from winning a legal battle with the IAAF over his carbon fibre running blades, but the public support for the athlete known as Blade Runner is almost unrivalled.

Out of the blocks: Oscar Pistorius runs during his men's 400m semi-final at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday

Out of the blocks: Oscar Pistorius runs during his men's 400m semi-final at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday

Out of the blocks: Oscar Pistorius runs during his men's 400m semi-final at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday

The roar which has greeted him when he has been introduced to the crowd has been loud enough to rival that which has welcomed every British competitor.

Pistorius, whose aim had always been the semi-finals, said: 'I am struggling to find a way to describe it. It is really humbling all the support I have had.

'It has been an unbelievable experience.

'I didn't come here to prove a point. I wanted to do the best I could possibly do and push myself as hard as I can.

'I won't know who to shout for [in the final] tomorrow. They are such gentlemen. This has been one of the best experiences of my life.

Good show: Double amputee Pistorius (centre) bowed out of the 400m at the semi-final stage

Good show: Double amputee Pistorius (centre) bowed out of the 400m at the semi-final stage

Mark of respect: Pistorius exchanges bibs with Kirani James (right) of Grenada after their race

Mark of respect: Pistorius exchanges bibs with Kirani James (right) of Grenada after their race

'Just being out in front of this crowd, 70,000 felt like 170,00, was an unbelievable experience.'

The four-time Paralympic champion, who had his lower legs amputated at 11 months old after being born without a fibula in either leg, swapped name bibs with Grenada's Kirani James after the race after the world champion approached him.

'When we crossed the line, for Kirani James to give me his number shows the kind of sportsmen we have in the Olympic Games,' added Pistorius, who will be back in the stadium for the 4x400m relay.

'We have a lot of respect for each other. For him to ask for my bib number shows what a true gentleman he is.'

James added: 'Oscar is someone special, especially in our event. It's a memorable moment for me to be out here performing with him.

'He's an inspiration to all of us. He is very special to our sport. He's a down to earth guy and a great individual. I thought it was a nice gesture to exchange bibs. I am going to keep it.'

London 2012 Olympics: Australia archer"s dad has restraining order lifted

Aussie archer's dad has restraining order lifted after accusation of intimidating rivals

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UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 6 July 2012

The father of Australia's only female archery competitor at the London Olympics has had a restraining order against him dismissed after a judge ruled he did not attempt to intimidate his daughter's main rival during qualifying events.

Jonathan Barnard, father of Elisa Barnard, was accused of trying to put 18-year-old Odette Snazelle off her performance during several events in January and February. Snazelle took out an interim apprehended violence order against Barnard, preventing him from coming within 200 meters of her.

In Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Friday, Magistrate Lee Gilmour dismissed the application, saying she could not rule that Barnard's “intentions were to harass and/or intimidate” Snazelle.

Eyes on the prize: Barnard is the Aussie's only female archery competitor

Eyes on the prize: Barnard is the Aussie's only female archery competitor

The judge added that she felt the dispute was 'tit for tat' between two warring families.

Elisa Barnard, 19, was named by the Australian Olympic Committee on June 27 on the two-person team for London.

An AOC spokesman said Friday they would not comment on the decision.
Snazelle had claimed Barnard followed her around, positioned himself behind her as Snazelle shot and attended one competition where his daughter was not competing.

In evidence Friday, Barnard said his motivation for attending the event where his daughter was not competing was to scrutinize the 'operation of qualifying events for the Olympic Games.'

'I didn't believe there'd be any issue with me attending the event,' Barnard told the court. 'If I genuinely felt Odette was being intimidated in any way I wouldn't be there, because I don't believe in intimidation.'

Take a break: Barnard's father has been blamed for other competitor's failure to qualify

Take a break: Barnard's father has been blamed for other competitor's failure to qualify

In his closing submissions, Barnard's lawyer Grant Butterfield said the accusations against his client amounted, at the worst, to 'unsporting behavior.'

He said the basis of the prosecution's application for an apprehended violence order was that Barnard went to the event on Feb. 19, despite having been told Snazelle had been uncomfortable with his presence two weeks earlier at another qualifying competition.

'That means no one should watch any sport if they happen to know a person involved in it,' Butterfield said. “That is akin to a coach of a swimmer saying to another coach, 'You're making my guy feel uncomfortable. Please don't come.'”

Outside court, Emma Snazelle said Barnard's conduct was responsible for her daughter failing to qualify for the Olympics. Odette Snazelle is an alternate for the team.

'It has definitely cost her a spot,' she said, adding that Barnard's actions were 'shameful' and 'un-Australian'.

Also outside court, Elisa Barnard said she was pleased her father's name had been cleared and she was now looking forward to representing Australia in London.

'This ordeal put a great amount of unnecessary stress on me and my family and consumed a great amount of time during a period when all my energy should have been focused on my Olympic preparation,' she said.

The Olympic archery competition will be held at Lord's cricket ground.

London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt beaten again

London set for fastest 100m ever as Bolt is beaten again and rivals smash 10-second barrier

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 2 July 2012

So, Usain Bolt is not quite the ice-veined winner the world thought he was. Twice in 48 hours he has lost to his apprentice friend Yohan Blake and, suddenly, the Olympics has a race on its hands.

Paying up to 750 to watch a 100 metres procession came with magic attached. Could Bolt move back the frontiers in 9.4sec How early in the race could he launch into a celebration How much daylight would there be between him and the pursuing world

But the possibilities now are all together more intriguing. Blake, Bolt’s vanquisher in the 100m at the Jamaican trials on Friday and in the 200m on Sunday night, is suddenly the man to beat. A competition rather than a demonstration beckons us.

Second-best: Bolt (above left) is beaten by Blake (above right) again before receiving treatment

Second-best: Bolt (above left) is beaten by Blake (above right) again before receiving treatment

Second-best: Bolt (above left) is beaten by Blake (above right) again before receiving treatment

It changes the nature of the history that could be written in London’s Olympic Stadium on 100m final night, Sunday, August 5.

Yes, we could yet witness Bolt finding how to uncoil those lanky legs off the blocks – he started desperately slowly in Kingston – so he can run the times he has talked of. But more likely we will see the fastest foot race since cavemen learned to walk: eight men traversing the blue-riband distance of sprinting in under 10sec.

This year alone 17 men have managed the feat, led by Blake’s 9.75sec over the weekend. On a warm night in London, without the wind intervening, who would bet against the 2012 cast transcending the 1991 World Championship peak, when six finalists managed to beat the 10sec mark

Our own Linford Christie ran 9.92sec yet finished fourth. Whither British sprinting, whose fastest competitor this year, teenager Adam Gemili, has run 10.08sec. The fireworks that await us in London will be a foreign affair.
Jamaica, with Bolt, Blake and Asafa Powell, and America, with Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey, lead the way. Trinidad, through Keston Bledman and Richard Thompson, promise to be bit-part players in the phenomenon. Europe Christophe Lemaitre, of France, has run sub-10sec, but not this year.

Pole position: Blake has made himself the man to beat

Pole position: Blake has made himself the man to beat

WORLD'S FASTEST MEN

Usain Bolt
Jamaica, 25. Season’s Best: 9.76sec.
The Olympic champion and world record holder in the 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19) is the man to beat but Blake proved he is not invincible in the Jamaican trials at the weekend.

Yohan Blake
Jamaica, 22. SB: 9.75. Bolt’s training partner and current 100m world champion. Fourth fastest in history (9.75).

Justin Gatlin
USA, 30. SB: 9.8. Won Olympic gold in 2004 but was then banned for doping. Ran PB of 9.8 to win US trials.

Asafa Powell
Jamaica, 29. SB: 9.85. Third fastest man in history (9.72) and former 100m world record holder.

Keston Bledman
Trinidad, 24. SB: 9.86.
Won silver in the 4x100m in the 2008 Olympics and ran PB of 9.86 last month.

Tyson Gay
USA, 29. SB: 9.86.
Second fastest in history (9.69) but has never won an Olympic medal because of injury.

Ryan Bailey
USA, 23. SB: 9.93.
Finished third in the US trials behind Gay and Gatlin. Ran a PB of 9.88 in 2010.

Richard Thompson
Trinidad, 27. SB: 9.96.
Ran a PB of 9.89 to take silver in Beijing. Qualified for London with a run of 9.96.

Over in Jamaica, Bolt was coming to terms with his fallibility. Defeat in the 200m was more of a jolt than in the 100m. He has not lost at the longer distance, which suits his 6ft 5in frame more naturally, since 2007. He holds the world record that eclipsed Michael Johnson’s unforgettable 1996 gold medal-winning time.

Bolt looked left as the finishing line approached, his face etched into a grimace. Blake ran 19.8sec, winning by 0.03sec.

Bolt embraced Blake, at 22 three years the younger, before lying on the ground to have his right hamstring stretched out, reinforcing my belief that he has not been entirely injury-free this year no matter what his control-freak retinue might have us believe.

Bolt acted cool, of course. ‘I can never be discouraged,’ he said. ‘I’m never worried until my coach gets worried, and my coach isn’t worried.’

Glen Mills, a sturdy man with a gravelly voice reminiscent of Michael Holding, is coach to Bolt and Blake. He is avuncular and not given to panic. ‘Usain has the experience and the ability and has been there before,’ he said.

‘He might be a little off but I’m sure, when the time of delivery comes around, he’ll be on top of his game.’

Jim Hines first broke the 10sec mark in 1968, in the Olympic 100m final at altitude in Mexico City. Eight athletes accomplishing the feat in one London evening would be more than compensation for Bolt spluttering. Even – well, maybe – at 750 for the privilege.

London 2012 Olympics: Saudi Arabia allow female athletes to compete

Saudi Arabia allow females to compete at Olympics after threat of gender bias ban

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 25 June 2012

Saudi Arabia will allow women to compete under their flag in the Olympic Games for the first time this summer.

Showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas will become their first ever female competitor after the nation was threatened with being banned.

Olympics bosses said the country could be disqualified for gender discrimination after it appeared to block female athletes from taking part.

Winner: Showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas will become Saudi Arabia's first ever female competitor after the nation was threatened with being banned

Winner: Showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas will become Saudi Arabia's first ever female competitor after the nation was threatened with being banned

But the Saudi embassy told the BBC its Olympic Committee would now 'oversee participation of women athletes who can qualify'.

The decision, supported by Saudi ruler King Abdullah, was taken earlier this month.

But an announcement was reportedly delayed due to the death of Crown Prince Nayef, the heir to the throne.

Women's participation in sport has long been met with opposition in the desert kingdom.

Discrimination: The group Human Rights Watch reported that at a recent marathon event in Saudi Arabia women were only allowed to compete if they wore the abaya - a black robe that covers teh body head to toe

Changes: The Saudi embassy said its Olympic Committee would now 'oversee participation of women athletes who can qualify'

'It's very sensitive,' a senior Saudi official told the broadcaster.

'King Abdullah is trying to initiate reform in a subtle way, by finding the right balance between going too fast or too slow.

'For example, he allowed the participation of women in the Shura council (an advisory body) so the Olympic decision is part of an ongoing process, it's not isolated.'

Malhas is expected to be the only female Saudi competitor at Olympic standard, but others could now compete.

If selected, their outfits would most likely comprise loose-fitting garments and a 'sports hijab', a scarf covering the hair but not the face.

Missing out: The deeply conservative nation is in talks over the 'practicalities' of including women in their team

Missing out: The deeply conservative nation was in talks over the 'practicalities' of including women in their team

The announcement comes after Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said he had no power to intervene if Saudi Arabia blocked female athletes from competing in London.

In April he said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was 'working on the issue' to 'try to find a way so that some Saudi women are able to compete'.

He said: 'You are always balancing the conservative elements in Saudi Arabia against those who want to reach out.

'But of course I would very much like to see Saudi women competing in London.'

US Open 2012: Andy Zhang, 14, wants to practice with Bubba Watson

I want to practice with Bubba, says youngest ever US Open competitor Zhang

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UPDATED:

15:19 GMT, 12 June 2012

In the swing of things: Beijing-born Zhang

In the swing of things: Beijing-born Zhang

The 14-year-old set to become the youngest player in US Open history this week was hoping to practise with Masters champion Bubba Watson on Tuesday.

Beijing-born Andy Zhang, now based in Florida, was informed late on Monday that Paul Casey's withdrawal with a shoulder injury had opened up a place for him.

'Bubba is the Masters champ – I can't think of anyone better to play with,' said Zhang, a year younger than Tadd Fujikawa was when he competed in 2006.

Zhang has lived in the States since he was 10, having taken up golf at six.

His mother is with him in San Francisco, but his father returned to China at the weekend thinking his son would probably remain a reserve for the second major of the season.

He was fifth on the original list, but moved up when three were called in after the publication of the world's top 60 yesterday – only Branden Grace and Spencer Levin earned exempt spots that way – and then became first alternate when Brandt Snedeker pulled out with a rib problem.

Eyes on the prize: Watson won this year's Masters

Eyes on the prize: Watson won this year's Masters

Golf blog

According to United States Golf Association records the youngest competitor prior to Fujikawa was Tyrell Garth, a month short of his 16th birthday when he played in 1941.

Zhang is not the youngest player in major history, however. He will be 14 years and six months on Thursday, while Young Tom Morris first played in the Open Championship at 14 years and four months in 1865.

US Open 2012: 14 year old Andy Zhang to compete

Zhang to become youngest ever US Open competitor at the age of 14 after Casey drop-out

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UPDATED:

08:12 GMT, 12 June 2012

Fourteen-year-old Andy Zhang will become the youngest ever US Open competitor after replacing Paul Casey.

Casey's shoulder dislocation he suffered snowboarding on Christmas Eve means England's former world number three is not yet fit enough for the rigours of a major.

That led to a call for China-born, Florida-based prodigy Zhang – the youngest player in the tournament since the second world war – who narrowly missed out on qualifying in a play-off.

Withdrew: Paul Casey pulled out citing his shoulder injury

Withdrew: Paul Casey pulled out citing his shoulder injury

'(When I got the call), my mind just went blank,' Zhang told Fox Sports. 'Then, I said “Wait! What I am in the US Open'

'I almost teared up,' his caddie, Christopher Gold, added. 'There is zero pressure on him.

'This kid is the best player I have ever seen at 14. He hits shots that pros can't hit.

'And, with little pressure this week, I think he could do very well.'

Casey was annoyed to miss out on the tournament.

'You're always disappointed to miss time due to injury, but it's especially true when you have to withdraw from the US Open,' he explained.

'I've been trying to play my way back and I feel like I probably came back too soon originally.

'It's affecting my ability right now to be ready for the test of a major. I do feel like I'm very nearly ready, but not quite ready for this week.'

There is a chance of him playing at the BMW International Open in Cologne.

Casey missed the first two months of the season, but after four missed cuts in a row on his return – including The Masters at Augusta – things were looking up when he finished 25th in Korea in late April.

But the 34-year-old then had to withdraw after nine holes of the Players Championship in Florida, pulled out of the Volvo World Match Play in Spain and shot rounds of 78 and 76 to miss yet another cut in the BMW PGA Championship three weeks ago.

That remains his last competitive action.

'I so want to play and it's so frustrating,' Casey said at Wentworth.

'I've got to get my brain to trust that I can't hurt it any more. It's amazing how the brain controls the body almost involuntarily.'

He is down to 58th in the world rankings and likely to fall even further this week, while the odds on him returning to the Ryder Cup team – he was not picked by Colin Montgomerie two years ago despite being world number nine at the time – are getting longer all the time.

Captain Jose Maria Olazabal said after hearing that the 11-time European Tour winner had pulled out of the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago: 'I feel really sorry for him. We all know how good he can play.

'All I am hoping is that he gets healthy again and shows form. I wish him the very best.'

Chang was joined in the main draw by fellow amateur Jordan Spieth, a member of last year's American Walker Cup side in Aberdeen. The Texan takes the place of compatriot Brandt Snedeker, out because of a rib injury.

French Open 2012: Sara Errani beats Sam Stosur

Errani takes advantage of Stosur errors in thrilling clash to reach first Grand Slam final

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 7 June 2012

Italy's Sara Errani reached her first grand slam final with a stunning 7-5 1-6 6-3 victory over Sam Stosur at the French Open on Thursday.

The 21st seed was a huge underdog against the 2010 finalist, who had not dropped a set all tournament, but she played at a high level throughout and was nerveless at the conclusion.

Errani had only ever won one match at Roland Garros before this year but her greater consistency was the deciding factor, with Stosur's 48 unforced errors simply too high.

Victory: A delighted Sara Errani celebrates after reaching the final

Victory: A delighted Sara Errani celebrates after reaching the final

Favourite: Samantha Stosur was fancied to beat Errani

Favourite: Samantha Stosur was fancied to beat Errani

The Australian – who lost to another Italian, Francesca Schiavone, in the 2010 final – made the perfect start with an immediate break of the Errani serve, but the Italian has shown this fortnight what a feisty competitor she is and she hit straight back.

Errani stands less then 5ft 5in tall and had been expected to struggle with the kick serve and heavy topspin of Stosur, but she was taking the ball early and more than holding her own.

Both players held serve reasonably comfortably until the 11th game, when Errani put her opponent under huge pressure.

Get ready: Errani will face the winner of the other semi-final, between Petra Kvitovaseed and Maria Sharapova

Get ready: Errani will face the winner of the other semi-final, between Petra Kvitovaseed and Maria Sharapova

Twice Stosur used her big forehand to great effect to get out of trouble but a third break point followed and this time the Australian netted a backhand volley.

Errani was not about to let the chance to clinch the set slip by and a lovely wide serve and forehand combination put her in the driving seat.

But the 25-year-old had never won in five previous meetings with Stosur, and the sixth seed came out firing at the start of the second set.

Errani could have won the opening game, but Stosur powered away a backhand winner on break point, and from there she reeled off another four games in a row.

But, despite the one-sided nature of the second set, it still felt like the match was on a knife edge, with the start of the decider all important.

Power: Stosur won the second set with brute force

Power: Stosur won the second set with brute force

And it was Errani who seized the initiative, exploiting a series of errors from Stosur to break and move 3-0 ahead.

The wind had got up, making conditions very tricky, but Stosur dug in and retrieved the break. The 28-year-old's greater weight of shot always had the potential to be the difference, but she had to keep her error count low.

And Errani simply was not going away. She forced two more break points at 4-3, both saved brilliantly by Stosur, but the Australian then double-faulted and Errani pounced.

Thrilling: Errani held her nerve to beat Stosur

Thrilling: Errani held her nerve to beat Stosur

Serving for a place in the final, she displayed the same fearlessness she had shown throughout, bringing up three match points and powering away a forehand on the first.

Errani is having the best season of her career and her victory ensured a third Italian finalist in three years here following Schiavone's two appearances in 2010 and 2011.