Katarina & Kveta Advance After Challenge

Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik and Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta dropped their first sets but rallied to reach the second round.

Published January 19, 2012 03:50

Katarina & Kveta Advance After Challenge
Katarina Srebotnik, Kveta Peschke

MELBOURNE, Australia - Defending champions Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta overcame a first set lapse to move into the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

The fourth-seeded Dulko and Pennetta were given all they could handle by the American-Canadian duo of Irina Falconi and Rebecca Marino, but escaped with a 36 64 64 triumph over the 21-year-olds who were playing their first match together. Dulko and Pennetta captured their first major here last year but have not won a title since. As they seek to return to championship form, they will next take on Spaniards Sílvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suárez Navarro.

Also getting off to a slow start but advancing were No.1 seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, 26 62 62, over Angelique Kerber and Christina McHale. Next up for them are Russians Alla Kudryavtseva and Ekaterina Makarova, whom they just beat in the quarterfinals of Sydney last week en route to their ninth career title.

Having a much easier time of it were sixth-seeded Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina and eighth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska. Mirza and Vesnina were 60 62 winners over Eleni Daniilidou and Alexandra Panova in 50 minutes, and Hantuchova and Radwanska beat Anna Tatishvili and Anastasiya Yakimova, 61 60, in just over an hour.

No.12 seeds Jarmila Gajdosova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands and No.13 seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and Arantxa Parra Santonja were also victorious. The lone seeds to not make it out of the first round were No.15 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, who suffered a 61 46 63 defeat at the hands of Julia Goerges and Kaia Kanepi.

"Won our doubles today," tweeted Goerges, who is also still alive in singles. "Had so much fun with Kaia. She's a funny and relaxed girl!"

Goerges and Kanepi play Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva on Friday's schedule, which also features matches involving second-seeded Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond and third-seeded Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova.

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