MIAMI, FL, USA - The multi-generational breakthrough doubles team of Lisa Raymond and Laura Robson broke through another big barrier on Friday, not only reaching the final of the Sony Open Tennis, but doing it in style - breaking down the No.1 team in the world comprehensively, 61 62.
With a combination of big serving, winning seven of their eight service games, and big returning, winning five of their seven return games, the wildcard pairing of Raymond and Robson - or 'Robmond' - required just 57 minutes to completely overpower the No.1-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.
"To be able to go out there with Laura and play that well against the No.1 team in the world feels great," Raymond said. "You just have to be aggressive against Sara and Roberta - you've got to take them out of their comfort zone and rush them. Laura has such huge groundstrokes and a big serve, which enabled me to do well at the net, and she volleyed well today too. Overall it was good today.
"Laura was awesome. We complemented each other well and we're looking forward to the final."
"We played really, really well today," Robson agreed. "We're really excited to win today and be in the final now. It's been a great tournament so far, but hopefully we'll get a win on Sunday too."
Raymond will be playing her seventh doubles final at the Sony Open Tennis, having won the title three times before (in 2002 with Rennae Stubbs and in 2006 and 2007 with Samantha Stosur) and having finished runner-up three times as well (in 2002 and 2005 with Stubbs and 2009 with Kveta Peschke).
"It's nice to be back in another final here in Miami," Raymond said. "It's been a few years since I've been back in a final at this tournament, but it feels great and I'm really looking forward to it."
Robson, who will be playing her first WTA doubles final, was asked whether the breakthrough pairing will play again after Miami. "It depends on what my ranking will be after this and where we would get in and stuff like that," Robson said, "but obviously I would love for us to keep playing together."
The second semifinal also featured a highly-seeded team and a wildcard pairing, but this time form held as No.3 seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik raced ahead 8-1 in the match tie-break and never really looked back to close out wildcards Flavia Pennetta and Svetlana Kuznetsova, 63 36 106.
"They played a very good second set and almost came back in the super tie-breaker, but thankfully we were able to close that one up and we're looking forward for the final," Petrova said. "We're going to do some preparation tomorrow and I hope I can defend this title, this time together with Kata."
Petrova was also asked about Raymond and Robson. "Two extremes, wildcards, they've had good wins - I'm sure they're on top of their game," she said. "After the Olympics this is the biggest final for Laura. It's good to see her making it this far in the tournament at her age. She's looking fearless.
"We just have to play some really good tennis in order to win that match."
Petrova and Srebotnik also had a fun experience off the court this week, playing some mixed dubs with NFL stars Ryan Tannehill and Bryant McKinnie. "It's always fun to play with and meet other athletes," Petrova said. "I was quite taken away by the size of Kata's mixed doubles partner Bryant - he was quite impressive. But the guys had a lot of fun. It was nice to share a little bit of our world with them."
Check out pictures from Petrova and Srebotnik's hit with the NFL stars, and as for the other team in the final, get to know Raymond and Robson's team dynamic a little better with this Q&A feature.