MADRID, Spain - No.3 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina and No.4 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears were eliminated in the Mutua Madrid Open quarterfinals on Thursday. With the No.1 and No.2 seeds going down on Wednesday, this is the first time in the tournament's history that no seeds made the semifinals.
Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva did not even face a break point in their 64 62 defeat of Makarova and Vesnina, and though the result may seem surprising on paper, no doubles player has been hotter than Mladenovic of late. She has now won 14 of her past 15 matches, highlighted by a title in Charleston alongside Lucie Safarova, a runner-up showing in Marrakech with Petra Martic and a title in Oeiras last week with Chan Hao-Ching. A title in Madrid would give her four on the season, breaking a tie for the WTA lead she currently shares with three other players.
Next up for Mladenovic and Voskoboeva are Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova, who captured the last three points of the match tie-break in their 62 36 107 triumph over Janette Husarova and Sabine Lisicki.
As for Kops-Jones and Spears, they fell victims to Sílvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suárez Navarro, 46 62 104. The Spaniards were up 4-2 in the first set, soon found themselves down 64 21, but then did not lose another game - including in a dominant match tie-break in which they won the first seven points.
In Soler-Espinosa and Suárez Navarro's first semifinal in their 12th WTA event as a pairing, they will take on Cara Black and Marina Erakovic. After a slow start against Svetlana Kuznetsova and Flavia Pennetta, Black and Erakovic jumped out to a 3-0 second set lead and cruised from there for a 46 61 105 victory.
"We struggled a little bit in the beginning," Black said. "We had a few chances and didn't take them. Our opponents played really well. In the second set, we stepped it up and took our chances more and came out on top."
"Today was a tough one," Erakovic said. "Kuznetsova and Pennetta are both elite players. I felt that we fought very hard and got better as the match went along. I'm just very happy to get through."
Both semifinal matches will be played on Friday.