ROME, Italy - After disappointment in their last two events, No.2 seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik returned to their winning ways in their Internazionali BNL d'Italia doubles opener Thursday.
Petrova and Srebotnik were in top form during the first few months of the year, getting to at least the final of five of their first six tournaments - including two titles in Sydney and Miami.
However, the Russian-Slovenian pairing dropped their openers at their first two clay events in Stuttgart and Madrid before securing their 30th WTA win as a duo and first on clay by rallying from a 5-1 second set deficit for a 62 75 defeat of Katalin Marosi and Anna Tatishvili in the second round of Rome.
Petrova had a disappointing first round loss in singles here earlier this week, but didn't let that curtail her motivation for doubles.
"Doubles gives me an opportunity for when singles doesn't go my way to still stick around and play until the end," Petrova said. "And it's totally different from singles. Singles, you're there by yourself, and you have to figure out the strategy. You have to fight through it alone. In doubles you have a partner. You can share how you feel today, what's bothering you, come up with a tactic. It's much more enjoyable. It goes quick, and playing doubles is actually a lot of fun for me."
Srebotnik recently commented on what makes she and Petrova such a formidable duo.
"The facts that you look at, in Nadia's case or any doubles player, are if somebody has won many tournaments with different partners," Srebotnik said. "So obviously she has skills in doubles, and we match very well, because I have also won many tournaments with quite a few different players.
"It's always better than some doubles players who only do well with one partner in particular. It increases your confidence playing with someone like Nadia that when you have important matches and crucial moments that her experience will help you close it out."
Petrova and Srebotnik first teamed up in 2003, then once in 2008, then not again until last summer.
"On paper we knew this would be a good team, but you still have to test it out and it turned out great," Srebotnik said. "It looks like a very steady partnership."
Petrova and Srebotnik's quarterfinal foes on Friday will be Jelena Jankovic and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who a week after upending Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke in Madrid beat the seventh-seeded pairing again in Rome, 16 63 1210.
Also advancing to the quarters were 2009 Rome winners Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, who eliminated No.4 seeds Liezel Huber and María José Martínez Sánchez, 76(6) 61. Next up for them are Dominika Cibulkova and Monica Niculescu.
Securing a semifinal spot were No.1 seeds and defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who improved to 3-0 against No.6 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza with a 64 63 triumph. Awaiting the Italians are Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova.