Top Doubles Seeds Pass Second Round Tests
Published January 25, 2009 12:00
MELBOURNE, Australia - Fourteen of the 16 seeded doubles teams made it through the first round of the 2009 Australian Open - defending champions Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko being the most notable exceptions - but a couple more fell by the wayside in the second round. Top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber are safely through though, as are No.2 seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual, and third-seeded Kveta Peschke and Lisa Raymond.
Among the favorites, Spanish duo Medina Garrigues and Ruano Pascual had the toughest ride, dropping the second set in a tie-break to Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears before surging home in the decider. By contrast, Black and Huber sacrificed just three games to Edina Gallovits and Arantxa Parra Santonja, and Peschke and Raymond were also easy winners over Sofia Arvidsson and Natalie Grandin, 62 64.
But Romanian No.14 seeds Monica Niculescu and Sorana Cirstea fell to savvy Nathalie Dechy and Mara Santangelo 63 63; and No.15 seeds Tatiana Poutchek and Anastasia Rodionova lost to Patty Schnyder and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 57 63 60. The German-speakers next face Lucie Safarova and Galina Voskoeboeva, who beat Gisela Dulko and Roberta Vinci - the conquerors of the Bondarenkos.
In perhaps the toughest third round match-up, Venus and Serena Williams, the No.10 seeds, face fifth seeds Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs for a place in the quarters. The Williams sisters beat Ayumi Morita and Martina Müller in the second round, while the Aussie duo dropped Poland's Radwanska sisters, Agnieszka and Urszula.
Ninth seeds Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama are also through to play Agnes Szavay and Elena Vesnina, who dispatched No.8 seeds Chuang Chia-Jung and Sun Tiantian from their section of the draw in the first round.