Rookie Team Ends Huber & Raymond's Run
Published March 24, 2012 11:50
MIAMI, FL, USA - The first round of the doubles competition at the Sony Ericsson Open saw upsets aplenty, as the Top 4 seeds all suffered shock defeats.
The biggest surprise came on Friday when Julia Goerges and Samantha Stosur knocked out No.1 seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond. Goerges and Stosur were playing their first match together but wasted little time forging an on-court understanding, breaking serve early on before wrapping up a one-sided opening set in just 27 minutes.
The second set was far closer but, despite a late rally from the Americans, Goerges and Stosur were not to be denied, completing a 61 64 win in just 65 minutes.
Huber and Raymond have been the WTA's dominant force for the past few months and their defeat finally brought to an end a 16-match win streak. However, just as surprising as their slip-up was the failure of their principal title rivals to capitalize.
Last year, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik were one of the most consistent teams on tour, winning six titles and reaching a further four finals. One of their few blips came in Miami, where they fell at the first hurdle. And 12 months later, in their first match since the Australian Open, they were once again victims of an upset, losing 64 64 to Gisela Dulko and Paola Suárez.
No.4 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka also fell early last year and this time were edged out by Eva Birnerova and Klaudia Jans-Ignacik, 64 75. Meanwhile, No.3 seeds Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina lost a see saw encounter with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova, 16 61 119.
There was better news for the remaining four seeds, though, all of whom survived the first round. Most impressive were the in-form Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who notched up their 15th win of the season against Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, 62 61. Also advancing were Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, Yaroslava Shvedova and Galina Voskoboeva and defending champions Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska.