MELBOURNE, Australia - Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina overcame a nightmare start to defeat Sílvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suárez Navarro and reach the semifinals of the Australian Open on Monday.
Earlier in the day Vesnina had seen her singles campaign come to an abrupt end at the hands of Victoria Azarenka, and in the early stages another heavy defeat looked on the cards; both Vesnina and Makarova dropped their opening service games as the Spaniards raced through the opening set in under half an hour.
However, Makarova and Vesnina, the No.4 seeds, dug in at the start of the second set before snatching the vital break in the final game to level the match up. The decider followed a similar pattern, as the teams traded service breaks before the Russians held their nerve at the death to close out a 16 75 64 victory.
The first week at Melbourne Park was characterized by a string of surprise results, with seven seeds failing to make it beyond the second round.
Arguably the biggest shock was Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua's victory over No.3 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Lisa Raymond, and to the delight of the home crowds the Australian wildcards continued their run on Monday.
"Obviously, we had a very good win last round in beating the No.3 three seeds," Dellacqua said. "So we probably put more pressure on ourselves to play perfect tennis.
"We remained calm enough to get through those issues and win though and that's all that matters in the end.
"Now we've got a quarterfinal to play which is just so exciting."