Spaniards Survive Doubles Opener
Published March 24, 2011 11:48
MIAMI, FL, USA - It was a wild first day of doubles action at the Sony Ericsson Open on Thursday, with four of the six matches being extended to match tie-breaks, one of which involved the event's first upset.
Nuria Llagostera Vives and Arantxa Parra Santonja have played on and off together since 2004, with their partnership highlighted by a title in Barcelona in 2007, but they had lost their last four matches together prior to this week, including their opener in Indian Wells two weeks ago. It looked like their losing streak would reach five when they trailed No.4 seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, 63 31, but this time they rallied for a 36 64 107 victory over the defending Wimbledon and US Open champions.
Another Spanish duo also was tested but moved on, with eighth-seeded María José Martínez Sánchez and Anabel Medina Garrigues edging Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova by taking the last two points of the match tie-break for a 46 62 108 triumph. Next up for Martínez Sánchez and Medina Garrigues, who have four career titles together but none since 2001, are Russian wildcards Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva.
In an interesting match involving unseeded teams, wildcards Ana Ivanovic and Andrea Petkovic survived Chuang Chia-Jung and Anastasia Rodionova, 46 75 105, despite letting a 5-1 second set lead slip away. It was their first win in three career matches as a duo.