ROME, Italy - On a day when three seeded teams were eliminated at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the biggest surprise was No.2 seeds and reigning Wimbledon champions Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik being upended by Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone.
Pennetta and Schiavone came into Rome with a losing record - 9-10 - but they did post their best result to date in getting to the final of their last event in Barcelona. On Thursday, after winning a routine first set, the Italians trailed 4-3 in the second before reeling off three straight games to seal the 62 64 second round triumph. It was their greatest career victory in terms of ranking, with Peschke at No.3 and Srebotnik No.4. This has been an especially memorable week for Pennetta, who is also through to the quarterfinals in singles.
Also falling were No.7 seeds Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova, 63 62, at the hands of Dominika Cibulkova and Janette Husarova. The Slovaks were 0-6 before Madrid, but there they beat Grandin and Uhlirova and Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond during a quarterfinal run. Now, they get a chance to make it two in a row against Huber and Raymond in Friday's quarters here.
Two seeded duos did move on to set up a quarterfinal showdown. Third-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci notched their 10th straight win overall, 63 64, over Gisela Dulko and Paola Suárez and their third straight over the Argentines. Awaiting the Italians are fourth-seeded Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, who defeated Iveta Benesova and Anabel Medina Garrigues, 75 62. Errani and Vinci lost to the Russians in their first meeting earlier this year in the Miami final, but beat them in last week's Madrid semis.
"Won our doubles, 64 62," Vesnina tweeted. "Sill a bit windy in Rome. Happy to be through. Tomorrow quarters at 12 on Court 2."