MELBOURNE, Australia - Cara Black and Sania Mirza have a brief history as a duo, but it continued to be a successful one with a straight set defeat of Eugenie Bouchard and Vera Dushevina at the Australian Open on Monday to book a quarterfinal spot in their Grand Slam debut.
Black and Mirza both have been longtime WTA doubles stars, but had never paired up until last September in Tokyo. They captured that title and then cruised to another one the very next week in Beijing. Thought they kicked off 2014 by dropping their opener in Sydney, they have returned to their 2013 form in Melbourne.
The sixth-seeded Black and Mirza were 64 63 winners over Bouchard and Dushevina and have yet to drop a set this fortnight. In fact, their 18 games surrendered is least of the quarterfinalists.
Hlavackova and Safarova have a quarterfinal date set with No.3 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The Russians got past No.15 seeds Daniela Hantuchova and Lisa Raymond, 64 67(5) 62, to improve to 26-6 in Grand Slam play while securing their 60th win as a duo.
Also moving on were eighth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, who edged Alizé Cornet and Caroline Garcia, 46 64 64. The Americans' opponents in Tuesday's quarterfinals will be Shahar Peer and Sílvia Soler-Espinosa.
No.2 seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Rohan Bopanna, No.5 seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Bruno Soares, No.6 seeds Mirza and Horia Tecau and Hantuchova and Leander Paes were among those advancing to the mixed doubles quarterfinals.