MIAMI, FL, USA - Martina Hingis has won back-to-back matches for the first time in her doubles comeback, with Tuesday's second round triumph alongside Sabine Lisicki at the Sony Open Tennis an especially dominant showing.
In the first match of the seventh event Hingis has played since returning to the WTA last summer, she and Lisicki recorded an impressive straight set defeat of No.6 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka on Friday. But their success the rest of the fortnight appeared in question when Lisicki withdrew from her third round singles match on Saturday because of the flu.
However, a few days off apparently did Lisicki some good, as after a slow start that saw her and Hingis go down an early break and lose six of the first seven points against Sorana Cirstea and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the German-Swiss duo won five straight games and only surrendered two more the rest of the way en route to a 54-minute, 62 61 victory.
"Wow, after three days in bed and not leaving my room, we played great doubles and had fun," Lisicki tweeted. "Thanks for all the get-well-soon messages!"
Interestingly enough, Hingis is currently working with Lisicki and has worked with Pavlyuchenkova in the past. She is now 21-3 here in doubles, including titles in 1998 and 1999 alongside Jana Novotna.
The quarterfinals got underway Tuesday too, with No.8 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears surviving Spanish wildcards Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez Navarro and reaching the semifinals here for the first time in five outings.
The Americans trailed 61 40 and were twice a point away from being down 5-0 in the second set before reeling off five straight games to force a match tie-break. There, they faced a deficit again, winning eight of the last nine points from 4-2 down for a 16 64 105 triumph in which they actually lost 10 more points than they won.
"We really had to work through it," Kops-Jones said. "Abi went to Boom Town, USA, ripped a couple shots and we got reinvigorated and got a little bit of confidence. They kind of backed off a little bit too. In those 10-point tie-breakers, you never know what can happen, and we just stuck with our game plan and it went our way."
"We were frustrated. Nothing was going our way," Spears said. "But your emotions are the one thing you can control when you're not playing well. I think we did a good job of that and I'm very proud of ourselves for that."
Kops-Jones and Spears' semifinal opponents will be second-seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who also came through in a match tie-break over Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova, 36 62 108.