A Wide-Open Open
Published August 30, 2010 12:00
NEW YORK, NY, USA - The US Open doubles event is as up for grabs as ever, with the Grand Slams' most dominant duo of the past decade out of the equation. Serena and Venus Williams, not playing this year while Serena nurses a foot injury, are 18-2 as a team at Flushing Meadows with two titles, including last year's. In addition, only three duos in the draw have won majors previously, therefore who will be holding the trophies at the end of the fortnight is anybody's guess.
The favorites may very well be a team with no Slams as of yet. No.1 seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta not only lead the Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2010 standings, they also have the most titles this season with five. They have posted solid results at the majors too, reaching the quarters at the Australian Open and French Open and the semis at Wimbledon. A possible quarterfinal showdown with No.6 seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova looms, however, the surprise Wimbledon champs are coming in cold, having gone 1-3 since their triumph at the All-England Club.
Read more about Gisela and Flaiva on our Doubles Profiles page!Another team on the top half of the draw looking to rekindle its fire is third-seeded Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez. The Spaniards won a Tour-best seven titles in 2009, including the Tour Championships, but this year have only been victorious once and have not even played a match together since Roland Garros because of a knee injury suffered by Martínez Sánchez. In the quarters, they could face ninth-seeded Cara Black and Anastasia Rodionova, who are playing only their fourth event together, however, Black has five majors to her name, including the 2008 US Open alongside Liezel Huber. Black and Rodionova, though, have their work cut out for them to make it to the final eight, as they open against Victoria Azarenka and Dinara Safina. The Russian was victorious here in 2008 with Nathalie Dechy.
The bottom half of the draw includes No.2 seeds Huber and Nadia Petrova, who have only played four events together, but won one of them - Charleston in April. Huber has four majors to her name and is currently the top-ranked doubles player in the world. They could face Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko in the second round. The sisters have fallen on hard times, having not gone beyond the quarters of an event all year, but do have a major to their credit - the 2008 Australian Open. Also in Huber and Petrova's quarter are No.5 seeds Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs. The 2001 US Open champions have had an impressive year together after reuniting following a four-and-a-half-year break. Their highlights include a title in Eastbourne, a semifinal showing at the Australian Open and a quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon.
Nevertheless, the favorites on the bottom half may be fourth-seeded Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik. Currently second in the Race to Doha standings, they are fresh off their second title of the year in New Haven. They have also posted strong results in the majors, including a runner-up showing at Roland Garros and a quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon.