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Favorites Fall In Doubles Final Four

Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina upended Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova in the China Open semifinals.

Published October 05, 2012 04:07

Favorites Fall In Doubles Final Four
Maria Kirilenko, Nadia Petrova

BEIJING, China - Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina pulled off a mild upset in an all-Russian affair Friday to advance to the final of the China Open.

Third-seeded Makarova and Vesnina never faced a break point against second-seeded Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova and broke Petrova's serve once each set in their 64 75 triumph. That improved their record in semifinals to 3-0, but they are 0-2 in finals, having fallen short against Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in Madrid and Rome earlier this year.

Makarova will be looking for her second WTA doubles title and Vesnina her seventh. If they are successful, they will be the first all-Russian duo to win Beijing, though Dinara Safina was victorious here in 2004 alongside Switzerland's Emmanuelle Gagliardi.

Standing in their way is a duo with impressive doubles histories, though not with each other. No.5 seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and Sania Mirza were 75 61 winners over No.6 seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Zheng Jie. The first set was especially dramatic, as Llagostera Vives and Mirza got out to a 4-1, two-break lead, went down 5-4, 30-0, and then won nine straight points to regain control.

Llagostera Vives and Mirza teamed up for the first time just last week in Tokyo, where they lost their opener. Llagostera Vives has 16 WTA doubles titles to her credit, including Beijing in 2005 with Maria Vento-Kabchi. Mirza has 14 WTA doubles titles and interestingly enough, two of them came alongside Vesnina, including her biggest title to date - Indian Wells in 2011.

Llagostera Vives and Mirza both are seeking their third title of the season with three different partners. In fact, Llagostera Vives stands in sixth place in the Race to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012 with fellow Spaniard María José Martínez Sánchez, but they are out of contention for one of the four spots in the draw.

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