MIAMI, FL, USA - No.3 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova are moving on in the Miami Open after booking their spot in the doubles semifinals with a win over the No.5 seeded team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, 7-5, 6-3.
The Mattek-Sands and Safarova partnership had a very successful 2015, winning two WTA titles and two Grand Slams as well as qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. This year the pair took some time apart, though, as Safarova focused on her singles game and Mattek-Sands put together her bid for a spot on the US Olympic team with CoCo Vandeweghe.
They picked up right where they left off as they reunited for Miami, flying through all of their matches en route to the quarterfinals in straight sets. They faced more resistance in the form of the No.5 seeded Czech duo, longtime partners who earlier this year reached the final of the Australian Open.
Hlavackova and Hradecka - known to their fans as 'The Silent Hs' - broke Mattek-Sands and Safarova ('Bucie') early on to go up 4-2 in the first set. They had a chance to break again to extend their lead but the No.3 seeds halted their progress, winning three straight games to dig out of the hole and take back the lead at 5-4. The two teams stayed on pace until Mattek-Sands and Safarova struck again, breaking once more to take the first set.
Team Bucie was more clinical in the second set - they broke the Silent Hs twice right away to go up 5-1. They quelled any ideas of a late comeback from the Czechs to claim the match in just over an hour and fifteen minutes and advance to the Miami Open semifinals.
Babos and Shvedova were dominant from the start, going up a double break and getting off to a 4-1 lead. Though Bondarenko and Savchuk broke back to narrow the gap, but the No.4 seeds broke a third time to take the first set 6-2. They broke the Ukrainian's serve one last time in the second set and stayed steady to close out the match.