Doubles Quarterfinal Line-up Set in Melbourne
Published January 26, 2009 12:00
MELBOURNE, Australia - Six seeded teams have made it through to the quarterfinals of the 2009 Australian Open - but only one of the pairings was supposed to reach the last eight, according to the form guide at the start of the week. In the third round, three teams with lower seedings turned the tables on higher-rated opponents, while an unseeded duo also won through unexpectedly.
Most notably, reigning French Open champions and No.2 seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual were routed by No.16 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, 60 61. In the next round the champions of Sydney take on Venus and Serena Williams, the No.10 seeds, who put paid to the national title hopes of fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs, 64 62.
Likewise, Sydney semifinalists Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez, the No.11 seeds, kept up their good form to dispatch 2006 Australian Open champions Yan Zi and Zheng Jie in two close sets, 75 64. The Spaniards next face unseeded Nathalie Dechy and Mara Santangelo, recent titlists in Auckland who defeated third seeds Kveta Peschke and Lisa Raymond, 75 63.
Tournament favorites and top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber are safe - at least for now - having gained easy passage when No.13 seeds Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva gave them a walkover, due to the dizziness and gastrointestinal illness that prompted Azarenka's retirement in her fourth round singles match against Serena.
The other quarterfinal pits Patty Schnyder and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who will surely be seeded come Roland Garros if they keep playing together, against No.12 seeds Casey Dellacqua and Francesca Schiavone, who were also the recipients of a third round walkover. Seventh-seeded Maria Kirilenko and Flavia Pennetta had to pull out due to Pennetta suffering right foot bursitis.