MELBOURNE, Australia - It has been a difficult first week for the home nation at Melbourne Park, but Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua gave the fans reason to cheer on Friday with a surprise win over No.3 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Lisa Raymond in the doubles.
Despite their lofty seeding, Kirilenko and Raymond were playing just their third match together, and they slumped to a 64 64 defeat. Urged on by a healthy crowd on Show Court 2, Barty and Dellacqua, who required a wildcard into the draw, hit 34 winners to book a third round berth against Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova.
Kirilenko and Raymond were not the only fancied pairing to slip up in the second round.
No.2 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, semifinalists 12 months ago, saw their challenge come to an early end at the hands of the evergreen Kimiko Date-Krumm and her partner Arantxa Parra Santonja.
On Tuesday, Date-Krumm became the oldest player to win a singles match at the Australian Open when she knocked out No.12 seed Nadia Petrova. Two days later she won again, this time against Shahar Peer, to reach the third round.
And are no signs that the 42-year-old is running out of steam, either. In her fourth match in as many days, Date-Krumm and Parra Santonja battled it out for well over two hours in the midday sun before overcoming Hlavackova and Hradecka, 75 36 63.
Errani and Vinci, who were runners-up last year, wasted little time or energy against Jill Craybas and Chanelle Scheepers, winning 62 60, while Makarova and Vesnina saw off the challenge off Mandy Minella and Megan Moulton-Levy, 64 64.