LONDON, Great Britain - Victoria Azarenka and Jamie Murray had to mount a major comeback to move into the mixed doubles third round at Wimbledon, taking down No.7 seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in three rollercoaster sets.
After edging through in the first set tiebreak, Azarenka and Murray found themselves having to save match point and comeback from 1-5 down in the final set to win, 7-6(6), 6-7(6), 7-5 on Centre Court.
Azarenka and Murray, the defending champion who paired with now-retired WTA legend Martina Hingis to lift the title last year, claimed the edgy opening set after a close opening set. They traded breaks with the No.7 seeds at 2-2, and they marched into a tiebreak where the unseeded duo edged ahead.
Groenefeld and Farah came roaring back in the second set, saving break point to stay on serve into the tiebreak, where they leveled the match to send them into a decider.
After the roof closed due to darkness, Azarenka and Murray quickly fell behind a double break to trail 1-5. The pair came back from the brink, saving match point at 2-5 and reeling off six games in a row to complete the turnaround and move into the third round.
Meanwhile, No.16 seeds Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen, the 2016 champions and last year’s runners up, had the shot of the day with this marvel during their 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu and Marcin Matkowski:
Also in action, the No.2 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Bruno Soares had a more straightforward path to the third round, knocking out Zhang Shuai and John Peers in straight sets, 7-6(4), 6-3. Joining them are British duo Harriet Dart and Jay Clarke, who defeated No.13 seed Kveta Peschke and Max Mirnyi 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. No.6 seeds Andrea Sestini-Hlavackova and Edouard Roger-Vasselin cruised past Elina Svitolina and Nicolas Mahut, 6-3, 6-3.
Kirsten Flipkens and Robin Haase upset the No.8 seeds Andreja Klepac and Rajeev Ram 7-6(1), 6-2, and No.5 seeds Chan Hao-Ching and Nikola Mektic cruised against Raluca Olaru and Fabrice Martin 6-2, 6-4.
Two teams received passage to the third round via walkover: No.14 seeds Eri Hozumi and Ben McLachlan, as well as No.1 Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic.