Favorites Flourish on Doubles Day 1
Published May 25, 2010 12:00
PARIS, France - Not only were the seeded teams a perfect nine-for-nine on the opening day of doubles play at the French Open, only two of them even dropped a set.
Serena and Venus Williams have actually only played this event twice, winning in 1999 and falling in the round of 16 last year, but amid their recent recommitment to doubles they are back again and appear to be in fine form, as the No.1 seeds routed Kirsten Flipkens and Tamarine Tanasugarn, 60 61, in 54 minutes on Tuesday.
Two of the players the Williamses are battling for the No.1 doubles ranking were also in action, and both were tested. Top-ranked Liezel Huber, playing alongside Anabel Medina Garrigues for just the second time, edged Mariya Koryttseva and Darya Kustova, 26 61 64. Fourth-ranked Cara Black, partnered with Elena Vesnina, downed Virginia Ruano Pascual and Meghann Shaughnessy, 46 63 63. It should come as no surprise that it was a struggle, though, considering that the sixth-seeded Black and Vesnina were 0-2 in their two previous career matches together and that Ruano Pascual and Shaughnessy had just taken the title in Warsaw last week.
No.4 seeds Nadia Petrova and Samantha Stosur and No.5 seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, coming off three straight Premier-level titles followed by a runner-up showing, recorded routine wins. Also moving on were No.8 seeds Alisa Kleybanova and Francesca Schiavone, No.9 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Yan Zi, No.11 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Agnieszka Radwanska and No.15 seeds Olga Govortsova and Alla Kudryavtseva.
Unseeded teams of note advancing were Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko, Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva - who play Huber and Medina Garrigues next - and Daniela Hantuchova and Caroline Wozniacki - who play the Williams sisters next.