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Doha Doubles Gets Underway

Jelena Jankovic and Alisa Kleybanova made their doubles debut and were among Monday's winners at the Qatar Total Open.

Published February 10, 2014 12:11

Doha Doubles Gets Underway
Jelena Jankovic

DOHA, Qatar - Jelena Jankovic and Alisa Kleybanova survived an up-and-down doubles opener against Varvara Lepchenko and Alexandra Panova at the Qatar Total Open on Monday.

Jankovic, who has been ranked as high as No.1 in singles and No.20 in doubles, and Kleybanova, who got as high as No.20 in singles and No.10 in doubles, were paired together for the first time.

After getting in a 5-3 first set hole and fighting off three set points, Jankovic and Kleybanova eventually took the set in a tie-break. The tides were completely turned in the second set, with Lepchenko and Panova not surrendering a game. But Jankovic and Kleybanova quickly regained the momentum, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the match tie-break en route to a 76(3) 06 102 triumph.

Also advancing were the Pliskova sisters and Irina Buryachok and Vitalia Diatchenko. Both teams will have their hands full in the second round, with the Pliskovas playing fourth-seeded Cara Black and Sania Mirza and Buryachok and Diatchenko taking on second-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai.

Other contenders in Doha's loaded doubles field are No.1 seeds and defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci and No.3 seeds and 2011 Doha winners Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.

Peng has a chance to overtake Errani and Vinci as doubles World No.1 depending on how this week's results play out. If she achieves that feat, she will be the first Chinese player to rank No.1 in either singles or doubles on the WTA and the second Asian No.1, as Japan's Ai Sugiyama was No.1 in doubles for 45 weeks during her career.

Speaking of doubles No.1s, former No.1s Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond are among those on Tuesday's schedule, Huber pairing up with Chan Hao-Ching and Raymond with Zhang Shuai. Huber is a past champion here and three-time runner-up. Raymond is also a former Doha winner.

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