Youth & Experience: A Winning Combo
Published September 01, 2010 12:00
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Only one day into the doubles and already one of the top teams in the draw was sent packing. No.3 seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez, winners of nine Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles, including one this year in Dubai, squandered match point during a 64 46 76(4) loss to Alexandra Dulgheru and Magdalena Rybarikova.
Although they hadn't played together since reaching the Wimbledon semis, due to Martínez Sánchez being injured, the Spanish duo were still among the favorites in Flushing and looked strong as they rebounded from losing the first set to lead, 46 64 53; but their opponents didn't let up, saving match point with Dulgheru serving 30-40 in that game, and ultimately prevailed in a tie-break.
No other seeded team lost, including No.2 seeds Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova, who cruised past Julie Coin and Alizé Cornet, 62 63. Huber and Petrova, winners in Charleston earlier this year, broke each of their opponents' serves twice and saved both break points against them en route to victory.
In an intriguing match-up, Daniela Hantuchova and Caroline Wozniacki rolled past experienced Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in 59 minutes, 60 62. "It was quick today," Hantuchova said. "It's always fun to play doubles with Caroline, and that's what doubles is about."
Also among the winners were Kimiko Date Krumm and Ayumi Morita, Japan's No.1 and No.2 singles players, who edged Serbian combo Jelena Jankovic and Bojana Jovanovski, 46 63 64. Date Krumm is nearly twice Morita's age, 39 to 20 - but even as she closes in on 40, she had the best winning percentage on first serve points of all four players (72%, next highest was Morita at 61%) and both of the match's aces came off her racquet.