MIAMI, FL, USA - Anyone hoping to knock off top-seeded Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond in the Sony Ericsson Open doubles event, which gets underway later this week, has some intimidating statistics to overcome.
Huber and Raymond have won four tournaments and 16 matches in a row. They are 22-2 on the year and 36-3 since the start of last year's US Open. They have captured eight of the past 12 tournaments in which they've played.
Huber is seeking her 53rd career doubles title, which would put her one short of former partner Cara Black for 14th most in the Open Era. Raymond is seeking her 79th, which would put her one short of Natasha Zvereva for fifth-most in the Open Era. If successful, Huber and Raymond would be the first team since Raymond and Samantha Stosur in 2007 to win both Indian Wells and Miami in the same year. Interestingly enough, Huber and Raymond open against Julia Goerges and Stosur, with whom Raymond won two of her three Miami titles.
There are a few duos in the draw who would be unlikely to be intimidated by the Americans, as they have a winning record against them.
No.2 seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, 2-1 against Huber and Raymond, were the WTA's most dominant team for much of 2011. However, this will be their first event since the Australian Open in January because of a right hip injury suffered by Srebotnik, and they have a tough first round match against Gisela Dulko and Paola Suárez. Dulko was victorious here two years ago alongside Flavia Pennetta.
Third-seeded Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina are the last duo to defeat Huber and Raymond, having done so in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. They are 3-2 in the series, though they did lose the last two match-ups in straight sets, including in the Indian Wells final. Finally, sixth-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, 14-3 on the year with two titles, have been victorious in both of their meetings with Huber and Raymond.
Other teams to keep an eye on include No.4 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, No.8 seeds Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska and Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva. Hlavackova and Hradecka are 15-2 on the year with two titles. Hantuchova and Radwanska are the defending champions. Kuznetsova and Zvonareva only have one title as a duo, but it came at this year's Australian Open.