Errani & Vinci Face Hingis In Opener
Published August 26, 2013 12:01
NEW YORK, NY, USA - There is no shortage of contenders for the US Open doubles crown, with a plethora of teams having impressive résumés - starting with defending champions and co-doubles World No.1s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.
Errani and Vinci captured their third Grand Slam title at January's Australian Open and followed that up with additional titles at their next two events. However, they have failed to add to their title haul since so are hardly overwhelming favorites. On top of that, the draw did them no favors, as they open up against nine-time Grand Slam doubles winners Martina Hingis and Daniela Hantuchova in the first major of Hingis' doubles comeback. If they are triumphant, Errani and Vinci would be the first combination to successfully defend a US Open title since Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suárez did so in 2004.
The only pairing in the draw with more Grand Slam doubles titles than the Italians isn't even seeded, but few would be surprised to see two-time US Open champions Serena and Venus Williams emerge victorious. Though they fell prior to the semifinal round in their last two major appearances - a slump by their standards - their 13 Grand Slam titles makes them a serious threat every time they are in a draw. One more would tie them with Gigi Fernández and Natasha Zvereva for second most Grand Slam titles by a duo in the Open Era.
Other potential titlists include Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina and Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik.
Barty and Dellacqua went all the way to the final in two of their three Grand Slam outings, at this year's Australian Open and Wimbledon. Hlavackova and Hradecka were victorious at the 2011 French Open and were runners-up here last year. Hsieh and Peng are the reigning Wimbledon champions. Makarova and Vesnina were triumphant at this year's French Open. And though Petrova and Srebotnik's greatest success hasn't come at Grand Slams, they have three WTA titles this season and trail only Errani and Vinci in the Race to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2013.