Familiar Faces With Unfamiliar Partners
Published May 28, 2010 12:00
PARIS, France - Two former doubles partners took very different paths to victory on Friday at the French Open, but nevertheless, both are through to the round of 16.
Cara Black and Liezel Huber's legendary union produced 29 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles, including four majors, but they decided to try playing with others last month. Since then, Black has played with three different partners, with a runner-up showing in Warsaw alongside Yan Zi being her best result. Huber, who seized control of the No.1 doubles ranking from Black on April 19 after sharing it since November 2007, has played with four partners since Black, with her best result being the title in Charleston alongside Nadia Petrova.
In second round matches Friday, Black and Elena Vesnina - the No.6 seeds - survived Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva, 46 62 64. Before this week, Black and Vesnina had only played together twice, in Rome and Madrid earlier this month, losing their opening match both times. As for Huber, she and Anabel Medina Garrigues - the No.3 seeds - cruised past Dinara Safina and Agnes Szavay, 62 63. The American-Spanish duo lost their opening match in Madrid a couple of weeks ago in their only previous event together.
Other second round winners Friday were 10th-seeded Chan Yung-Jan and Zheng Jie, 12th-seeded Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, 15th-seeded Olga Govortsova and Alla Kudryavtseva and Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko. Peschke and Srebotnik, who take on Black and Vesnina next, had an especially impressive showing, surrendering only one game against Edina Gallovits and Melanie Oudin. The Bondarenko sisters were responsible for the first defeat of a seeded team so far, taking down No.14 seeds Vera Dushevina and Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.
The rain-delayed first round was finally completed Friday, highlighted by second-seeded Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez's straight set win. The Spaniards are in action again Saturday, as are top-seeded Serena and Venus Williams and fifth-seeded Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.