Czechs In Championship Form Again
Published June 02, 2012 08:37
PARIS, France - In a Roland Garros doubles event that had been upset-stricken in previous days, all the favorites were victorious on Saturday, including defending champions Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.
Prior to the 2011 French Open, Hlavackova and Hradecka had failed to go beyond the third round of their nine majors together. Unseeded during a dream fortnight, they went all the way to the title without dropping a set. After losing their opener at Wimbledon, they proved to be regular contenders at majors from there in getting to the quarterfinals of the US Open and the semifinals of this year's Australian Open. They also added two more titles to their haul this season, giving them seven during their partnership.
Seeded fifth this fortnight, the Czechs have rolled through the first three rounds and in light of their 62 64 victory Saturday over Liga Dekmeijere and Tamarine Tanasugarn, have now won 18 straight sets here.
Setting up a quarterfinal showdown were No.4 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci and No.6 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The Italians extended their winning streak to 16 matches with a 64 62 triumph over Nina Bratchikova and Edina Gallovits-Hall. The Russians beat Chan Yung-Jan and Chan Hao-Ching, 63 64. Interestingly enough, Makarova and Vesnina are now 12-2 as a duo, with both losses coming last month to their next opponents - Errani and Vinci - one in the final of Madrid and the other in the final of Rome.
Also reaching the final eight were seventh-seeded Russians Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova and 12th-seeded Spaniards Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez. Third-seeded Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova moved into the third round via walkover.
The only seeded mixed doubles duos to advance were No.5 seeds Vesnina and Leander Paes, who were runners-up at January's Australian Open.
"Lucky day at the office," Vesnina tweeted. "Won both matches. Doubles with Katia, 6-4 6-4, and mixed with Leander, 6-2 6-0."
The remaining three women's third round doubles matches will be played Sunday, highlighted by King and Shvedova versus Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie. In their only prior meeting, the Chinese came out on top in the 2011 Rome final.