Sara Errani reached the championship round of the W60K ITF event in Asuncion, Paraguay, last weekend. It made for an encouraging result for the former Roland Garros runner-up, who has struggled with injuries and form in recent years, apart from a doping suspension.

Errani dropped the Asuncion final by a 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 count to 18-year-old compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who she congratulated with a pat on the head and congrats, also via Instagram.


Removed from the tournament week, Errani had further thoughts, captioning an Instagram post with "Polemica del lunedì"—or "Monday controversy"—and a shrug emoji for emphasis.

Fed up with constant criticism about her underarm serving on social media, namely in her home country, Errani typed out a missive speaking to her detractors. Therein, as translated from the Italian, she offered this ultimatum: "If it is not okay with you, send a letter to WTA asking to change rules about serve or ask them to disqualify me for 'awful serve.' If instead you just have other problems with me, send a letter to Santa. Bye!"


After all those words, the closing kiss-off "Bye!" punctuated Errani's jeremiad perfectly. After she returned to tournament play in February, serving woes soon struck. And they stuck with her. As Baseline reported in April, she suffered yips on serve that led her to address by starting points underarm.

Errani concludes her 2019 campaign on tour with a 20-23 match record, and winnings of $67,500.

Compare those numbers to her 555 career match victories and $13.2 million tournament winnings to date, and one can see why the veteran, just 32 years old, feels pressure to perform.

And her foils online—especially in Italy, as she notes—want to see her do that only overarm. Time will tell whether she heals both physically and psychologically for the 2020 season, and prefers to serve like so from there.