CINCINNATI, OH, USA - Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, and Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who combined to win seven of the last eight doubles Grand Slams, were all beaten in match tie-breaks on a shocking day of doubles upsets Thursday at the Western & Southern Open.
Probably the biggest surprise was No.6 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic pulling off a 2-6, 6-1, 10-8 quarterfinal defeat of No.1 seeds Errani and Vinci, considering the Hungarian-French pairing only mustered four games in their one previous encounter with the Italians in the Wimbledon final a little over a month ago. And on top of that, Errani and Vinci were riding an 11-match win streak.
But this time, after each team won a lopsided set, Babos and Mladenovic held steady in the match tie-break, winning the last two points from 8-8 to seal the victory. And now they actually find themselves as the highest seeded duo remaining.
As for the second-seeded Hsieh and Peng, they were up a set and 4-2 on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova and ended up winning eight more points than they lost, but the Russian-Czech combination won seven of the last eight points of their 3-6, 7-5, 10-5 second round triumph. Next up for them are seventh-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.
Arguably the most dramatic match of the day saw Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez Navarro overcome three match points in the match tie-break of their 7-6(1), 1-6, 12-10 second round win over No.5 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
And there was yet another upset, with Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova beating fourth-seeded Cara Black and Sania Mirza, 6-3, 6-3, to set up a quarterfinal with eighth-seeded Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova.