Doubles Title Up For Grabs At SW19
Published June 25, 2012 10:31
LONDON, England - The doubles competition at this year's Wimbledon is one of the most open in recent memory, with at least a dozen teams in with a realistic chance of lifting the title.
With such an evenly matched field, picking a favorite is no easy task, but there is no doubt who has the momentum coming into SW19. Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have enjoyed a truly spectacular year, winning seven titles - including a maiden Slam together at Roland Garros - and are currently riding high on a 23-match unbeaten run.
Although they have never been beyond the last 16 at Wimbledon together, the Italian duo, seeded No.2, know their way around a grass court, with four of their current win streak coming last week in 's-Hertogenbosch.
While Errani and Vinci have been monopolizing most of the game's major prizes over the past few months, a few of the WTA's more established partnerships have been forced to play second fiddle, a position never sitting well with No.1 seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond.
Both players have triumphed at Wimbledon in the past, although never together, and in their sole campaign in tandem they came up agonizingly short, losing 13-11 in the final set of last year's quarterfinal. They warmed up for this year's tournament with an encouraging runs to the final in Eastbourne and Birmingham and will take some stopping this fortnight.
Another pairing who have been out of the limelight this season are defending champions Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik. An injury to Srebotnik in the opening month of the season contributed to a stuttering first half of the year for the No.3 seeds, but a quarterfinal run in Roland Garros indicated at a return to form at just the right time.
Other teams sure to have a say in the destination of this year's title are Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka and former champions Serena and Venus Williams.
Having not played a doubles match together since losing in the quarterfinals at this venue two years ago, the Williams sisters are unseeded this time around. However, with 12 Grand Slam title to their names - four of which came at the All-England Club - they represent a significant danger to the more regular partnerships, particularly No.4 seeds Kirilenko and Petrova, whom they are likely to meet in the second round.