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Sveta & Vera Vanquish Flavia & Gisela

Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva beat defending champs Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta to reach the Australian Open quarters.

Published January 22, 2012 04:16

Sveta & Vera Vanquish Flavia & Gisela
Vera Zvonareva, Svetlana Kuznetsova

MELBOURNE, Australia - Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva recorded their biggest triumph as a duo Sunday when they knocked defending champions Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta out of the Australian Open.

Having never been beyond the semifinals of the six events they played together before this week, Kuznetsova and Zvonareva were still surely considered a dangerous team, considering Kuznetsova has 14 doubles titles to her credit, including the 2005 Australian Open, and Zvonareva has five, including the 2006 US Open. After two straight set victories to start the tournament, the Russians were pushed to the limit in the third round by the fourth-seeded Dulko and Pennetta but emerged with a 36 63 76(4) victory, despite losing five more points than they won.

Dulko and Pennetta are still seeking their first title since winning here last year. "Unfortunately we lost a really tough battle against two great players today," Dulko tweeted. "Will keep working hard for the next tournaments coming up."

The two other seeded teams in action joined Kuznetsova and Zvonareva and fellow Russians Alla Kudryavtseva and Ekaterina Makarova in the quarterfinals. No.2 seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, 62 61 winners over Andreja Klepac and Alicja Rosolska, have dropped just seven games in three matches this fortnight. No.3 seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova were extended to three sets for the second time in three matches but were 62 26 62 victors over Petra Martic and Kristina Mladenovic, raising their Grand Slam record together to 25-3.

The mixed doubles draw experienced a major upset when Roberta Vinci and Daniele Bracciali eliminated top-seeded Kveta Peschke and Mike Bryan in a match tie-break. Another team of note moving on was Kimiko Date-Krumm and Kei Nishikori.

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