CINCINNATI, USA - Martina Hingis and Daniela Hantuchova rallied from a set down to win their opening match at the Western & Southern Open and book a meeting with top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.
However, with their backs to the wall, the wildcards produced their best tennis, taking five of the next six games - four via sudden death deuces - before winning the subsequent match tie-break.
The 46 64 105 victory was Hingis' third since her return to the circuit earlier this month, and she admitted afterwards that there have been a few changes since she last struck a ball in anger. "When I played before we didn't have no-ad deuces," she said. "I think that's the biggest difference - those key points become really important.
"Today and in the two matches last week, they were the big difference - you can't relax at all. I think we need to get a bit better on those big points and this will make us more competitive. But I think we're really close to competing with the best teams in the world."
"It will be interesting because they're the No.1 doubles team in the world right now and we'll see where we stand. In the lead up to the US Open, every match for us is now important. We're looking forward to it," Hingis added.
Elsewhere in the doubles draw there were several surprise first round exits. The most notable casualties were No.5 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, who lost to Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 63 63. Also out are No.8 seeds Sania Mirza and Zheng Jie, after they were defeated by Kimiko Date-Krumm and Arantxa Parra Santonja, 67(4) 64 105.