Petrova and Srebotnik teamed up for the very first time 10 years ago not far from Indian Wells in San Diego. They have recorded some impressive results in their intermittent appearances together since, but have really hit their stride this year in compiling a 14-3 record. Their five tournaments have consisted of a title in Sydney, a third round appearance at the Australian Open, runner-up showings in Doha and Dubai and now at least a quarterfinal showing here after their 62 76(4) defeat of Jelena Jankovic and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
"I am quite happy with the way we played today," Petrova said. "It is always difficult to play against singles players in doubles because they have big returns and they go for big shots. I think we have a good opportunity to go far in this tournament."
Winning by the exact same 62 76(4) scoreline were fourth-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina against Julia Goerges and Yaroslava Shvedova. Similar to Petrova and Srebotnik, the Russians have been one of the WTA's most consistent teams recently. Their last four WTA events have consisted of titles in Beijing and Moscow last October, a semifinal showing at January's Australian Open and now at least a quarterfinal appearance here.
The most dramatic match-up of the day featured Kimiko Date-Krumm and Casey Dellacqua against Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur. In their only previous outing, Date-Krumm and Dellacqua captured Pattaya City last month a week after Dellacqua was a runner-up at the Australian Open alongside Ashleigh Barty. Raymond is an Indian Wells legend, having won a tournament record seven doubles titles, two of which came with Stosur.
Date-Krumm and Dellacqua jumped out to a 61 40 lead on Sunday, but then Raymond and Stosur roared back with six straight games to force a match tie-break. However, Date-Krumm and Dellacqua regained the momentum and went on to a 61 46 106 triumph.
"It was obviously a tough match," Dellacqua said. "They're a very good doubles team and they have had good success in the past. It came down to the wire in the super tie-break but we managed to play a few crucial points really well and pulled it out."
Dellacqua talked about having paired up with 16-year-old Barty and 42-year-old Date-Krumm this year.
"That's what makes this sport so amazing," Dellacqua said. "The fact I've played with a 16-year-old who's fearless and hasn't had much experience on the WTA, while Kimiko is so experienced and has had so much success. Two levels, two ages, two different types of players, and they're both having success. I've been privileged enough to play with both of them, and they're both great people as well. That's what makes doubles fun."
"Kimiko and I are just trying to enjoy ourselves," Dellacqua said. "We played together just once before but had good success. I believe in us as a team."