WIMBLEDON, Great Britain -- After two days on court, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and her British partner Jamie Murray moved into the second round of the mixed doubles event at Wimbledon with a 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4 victory over the Czech duo of Lucie Hradecka and Roman Jebavy.
On Friday, the Czechs, who were an alternate team into the draw, took a high-quality first set with no breaks of service by rampaging through a tiebreak, ending it with a Jebavy return winner off a Murray serve. But Azarenka and Murray regrouped and took the second set just before sunset made it impossible to continue play.
Once again, the teams had to play fighting daylight, and once more, breaks of serve were nearly impossible to come by. Azarenka was the first player to struggle on serve after the resumption of play, needing to repel three break points at 1-2. A Murray volley winner pulled them back to deuce for a third time, and after that, one long miscue each by both Czechs allowed Azarenka to hold for 2-2.
Jebavy had been a powerful presence and solid server all day, so it came as a shock when he quickly fell behind 0-40 on his serve at 4-4. Azarenka took immediate advantage, crushing a return winner off Jebavy's serve to gain the initial break of the set.
That break of serve would prove pivotal, as Murray calmly closed out the match on his serve in the next game. Murray and Azarenka saved all 11 break points against them in the closely contested tilt.
The second round also got underway, as some of the 16 seeded teams took to the court, after their first-round byes. The highest-seeded team in action on Saturday was the No.3-seeded pairing of Latisha Chan of Chinese Taipei and Ivan Dodig of Croatia, who defeated Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Spaniard Arantxa Parra Santonja, 6-4, 6-4.
Parra Santonja dropped her serve twice at the start of the encounter, handing Chan and Dodig a 5-2 lead. Serving for the set, Chan held set point before firing a forehand unforced error long, and dropped serve from there. But their double-break lead paid off in the end as Dodig held serve handily at 5-4 to take the opening frame.
Parra Santonja again dropped serve early in the second set; the Spaniard and her partner from Pakistan staved off four break points in the marathon game before Chan converted a fifth chance with a winning volley.
That would be all the third seeds needed to ease to victory, closing out the match after a high return off a big Dodig serve was slammed by a signature Chan putaway. Chan and Dodig won nearly 60 percent of points off of their opponents' second serves.
In other second-round matches, the Dutch duo of Demi Schuurs and Jean-Julien Rojer, seeded No.4, won a long first-set tiebreak and beat Renata Voracova and Jamie Cerretani, 7-6(13), 6-3, and No.9 seeds Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Michael Venus of New Zealand overcame Anastasia Rodionova and Andrei Vasilevski, 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-2.
The American pairing of Sloane Stephens and Jack Sock pulled off the only upset in the mixed doubles draw so far, ousting No.15 seeds Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Marcelo Demoliner, 7-5, 6-2.