INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - No.3 seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik advanced to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday with a hard-fought win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova.
Since joining forces at the start of the year, Petrova and Srebotnik have rapidly established themselves as one of the most consistent teams on tour, winning the title in Sydney and finishing runners-up in Doha and Dubai.
However, they were given a real scare by Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova, who, despite both being ranked outside the Top 30 in doubles, more than held their own. Eventually class prevailed, with Petrova and Srebotnik taking the initiative in the match tie-break to reel off the final five points and close out a 64 46 105 victory.
They were not the only seeds to wriggle their way out of a tight spot either.
After failing to serve out the match in the second set, No.4 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina found themselves 6-4 down in the match tie-break to Vania King and Monica Niculescu. Like, Petrova and Srebotnik, though, they saved the best for last, taking the next six points to escape with a 75 67(2) 106 victory.
Less fortunate were No.8 seeds and recent Dubai champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza, who after a bright start were eventually overpowered by the two-time Grand Slam wining team of Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur, 67(8) 63 106.