Two American Duos Into Final Eight
Published July 31, 2012 10:46
LONDON, England - No.1 seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond were pushed in second round play at the Olympics on Tuesday, but joined fellow Americans Serena and Venus Williams in the doubles quarterfinals.
The only duo to receive a first round bye, Huber and Raymond trailed Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska 5-2 in the second set before tying it up and eventually forcing a tie-break, which they took to secure the 64 76(3) victory. Second serve winning percentage proved to be the deciding factor, with the Americans converting on 60% of theirs compared to just 25% for the Poles. Next up for them are sixth-seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, whose 62 61 rout of Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld was the most one-sided scoreline of the day.
As for the Williams sisters, the two-time Olympic doubles gold medalists jumped out to a 5-0 first set lead and hung tough in a tight second set for a 62 75 triumph over Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki. The fifth-seeded Germans were the only seeds to go down on Tuesday. The Williamses are now 12-0 at the Olympics and 40-2 on grass, but a big test awaits in the final eight in the form of second-seeded Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.
Errani and Vinci let a 4-2 second set lead slip away and almost lost a 5-1 third set lead before prevailing against Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik, 75 46 64. They are now 45-5 on the year for a 90% winning percentage.
"It was a really tough match. They are playing very good doubles," Errani said of the Slovenians. "In the second set we were 4-2 up but lost 6-4. Two points can make the difference, especially on grass. All in all, we played well today."
Also booking a quarterfinal berth were No.4 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, who were 63 61 winners over Li Na and Zhang Shuai. The Czechs went all the way to the final at Wimbledon earlier this month, so obviously are comfortable on the All-England Club's grass courts.
The final first round match was completed, with seventh-seeded Italians Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone rallying from a 5-3 first set deficit in netting a 76(4) 64 defeat of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja. They later took the court for their second round clash with Chuang Chia-Jung and Hsieh Su-Wei, getting out to a 76(3) 55 lead before darkness suspended play. In addition to the completion of that, all three quarterfinal matches that are set will be played Wednesday.