LONDON, England - Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina had their Grand Slam breakthrough in collecting their first major at the French Open earlier this month, and are looking like strong candidates to make a run at the Wimbledon title as well.
The fourth-seeded Makarova and Vesnina were pushed in the first set but went on to a 76(8) 61 victory over Christina McHale and Tamira Paszek on Saturday to advance to the third round. Next up for them are Jelena Jankovic and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, whom the Russians beat in straight sets also in the third round at Roland Garros.
In fact, during the eight-match winning streak Makarova and Vesnina are in the midst of, they have won all 16 sets. They also now have 20 Grand Slam match wins to their credit out of 24 Grand Slam matches played.
Third-seeded Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik, also likely contenders for the title, joined Makarova and Vesnina in the third round with a 75 63 defeat of Varvara Lepchenko and Zheng Saisai. The Russian-Slovenian duo has yet to lose a match on grass, as in their first grass court event together, they captured Eastbourne a week ago.
Seventh-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke converted on just three of 13 break point chances but it was enough for a 64 64 triumph over crowd favorites Lisa Raymond and Laura Robson. Next up for them are Eugenie Bouchard and Petra Martic, who upset 11th-seeded Cara Black and Marina Erakovic, 76(6) 76(4).
All of the other seeds in action, No.6 seeds Liezel Huber and Sania Mirza, No.8 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai and No.16 seeds Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, all moved on. A showdown with three-time Grand Slam champions and No.1 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci looms next for Goerges and Zahlavova Strycova.