Kanepi & Zhang Conquer Huber & Raymond
Published May 30, 2012 08:03
PARIS, France - A day after Serena Williams' first round loss in singles shocked the tennis establishment, Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond were also the victims of a monumental upset in the first round of doubles.
Huber and Raymond had never lost before the quarterfinals in their four previous majors together, however, clay is their weakest surface, as evidenced by their 8-8 record on the dirt prior to Wednesday. Sure enough, Kaia Kanepi and Zhang Shuai pulled off the 63 75 stunner in just their second outing as a duo - the first having been a second round showing at Wimbledon in 2010.
Huber and Raymond are the first No.1 seeds to lose a Grand Slam opener since Raymond and Stubbs fell to Martina Hingis and Monica Seles at the 2001 Australian Open and are the first at the French Open since Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss were upset by Candy Reynolds and Paula Smith in 1980.
Interestingly enough, all the other seeded teams in first round action advanced in straight sets, including contenders such as second-seeded Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, third-seeded Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, fifth-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka and seventh-seeded Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova.
Peschke and Srebotnik snapped a three-match losing skid with a 62 75 defeat of Kristina Barrois and Darija Jurak. King and Shvedova were 64 63 winners over Tamira Paszek and Jasmin Woehr to improve their Grand Slam record to 26-4. Hlavackova and Hradecka, who did not lose a set en route to the championship here last year, began their title defense with a 60 61 rout of Julie Coin and Pauline Parmentier. Finally, Kirilenko and Petrova eased past Lourdes Domínguez Lino and Romina Oprandi, 62 61.