INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - A dramatic day of first round doubles at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday saw Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua survive Martina Hingis and Sabine Lisicki's upset bid, but Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci weren't so fortunate.
Though Barty and Dellacqua are three-time Grand Slam runners-up, Hingis is a nine-time doubles Grand Slam winner. Therefore, it wouldn't have been a huge surprise to see she and Lisicki win in their debut as a duo and in Hingis' first match since playing five events in her return to the doubles circuit last summer. And they were quite close to doing so.
After surviving four match points on Lisicki's serve in the second set, Hingis and Lisicki eventually rolled through the second set tie-break to force a match tie-break. But the seventh-seeded Australians never trailed in the decider and eventually secured a 64 67(0) 106 triumph.
"We haven't played together since the Aussie Open and were expecting a tough one," Stosur said. "We're really pleased with the way we went out there and played. We knew that we were going to have to play well against them because they've been one of the best teams in the world for quite a while, so it's a really good win for us."
Stosur, a two-time Indian Wells champion alongside Lisa Raymond, expects to keep partnering Kuznetsova in the near future.
"We're definitely playing Miami," Stosur said. "And then after that we need to talk about where the next ones are. We're enjoying playing together, so that's the plan."
Second-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina rallied from a set and a break down to defeat Chan Hao-Ching and Liezel Huber, 67(5) 64 108. The Russians won four match tie-breaks en route to the title here last year.