INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Cara Black and Sania Mirza defeated defending champions and No.2 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina on Wednesday to secure a doubles semifinal spot in the BNP Paribas Open.
The fifth-seeded Black and Mirza jumped out to a 4-0 first set lead before losing four straight games and then winning eight of the next nine to seal the 64 61 triumph. That improved them to 16-4 as a duo, despite the fact they had lost three of their previous four matches coming into Indian Wells.
"We've had a few unlucky matches, so I think we were just really determined to play well here and get some matches under our belts," Black said. "We've done that well so far. We're very happy with the way we played today and we're looking forward to our next match."
Mirza actually won Indian Wells in 2011 alongside Vesnina, and they were runners-up in 2012.
"This is one of the biggest tournaments of the year," Mirza said. "It's great to perform well over here. It was tough, though, because I've played with Elena and it's not easy playing a friend. I think we played well. It was the first time we played them together. We're happy that we stuck to our game plan."
"I played with Zheng the whole US tour last year," Mirza said. "We made the semis of the US Open and won a tournament the week before. They've both won Grand Slams before. It's obviously going to be a very tough match. We feel like we're improving every day and hopefully we can continue."
Also winning their quarterfinals to set up a semifinal clash were top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai and Svetlana Kuznetsova and Samantha Stosur. Hsieh and Peng were 63 64 victors over seventh-seeded Australians Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final, which was also won by the Asians. Kuznetsova and Stosur edged Kimiko Date-Krumm and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 16 63 106.
"Stosur and Kuznetsova aren't seeded but they're a very strong team," Peng said. "When we played them last year in the US Open, it was a really tough match. So, we will really have to be ready."