NEW YORK, NY, USA - The Williams sisters survived a challenge from Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova on Wednesday, particularly in the second set, but emerged with a straight set victory and a quarterfinal berth at the US Open.
The Williamses converted on four of five break point chances and surrendered just seven points on their first serves in their 61 76(3) defeat of the 11th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion sisters will take a 110-10 record in majors into Thursday's compelling quarterfinal against No.1 seeds and defending champs Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. The last time the duos squared off, the Italians got the better of the Williamses in a tight three-setter in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open en route to their third Grand Slam title.
The other three doubles quarterfinals were contested Wednesday, with 10th-seeded Sania Mirza and Zheng Jie, eighth-seeded Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua and fifth-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka all booking semifinal spots.
Mirza and Zheng were 64 76(5) winners over No.4 seeds and reigning Wimbledon titlists Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai. The Indian-Chinese pairing picked up their first WTA title together at New Haven the week before the US Open and are looking to become the first duo to pull off the New Haven-US Open double since Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur in 2005.
Next up for Mirza and Zheng are Barty and Dellacqua, who cruised to a 62 63 defeat of reigning French Open champs and No.2 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The Australians have not lost more than four games in a set this fortnight and continue to be in great form at Grand Slams this season, having been runners-up at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
It was an especially good day for Hlavackova, who also won her mixed doubles semifinal match alongside Max Mirnyi. Their opponents in Friday's final will be Abigail Spears and Santiago González.
"It's a dream come true," Spears said. "Everybody wants to be in the finals of a Grand Slam, especially in their home country. I couldn't have asked for a nicer partner. It has been a great tournament.
"I'm really excited. I hope there are a lot of supporters and it gets loud and crazy. We're in New York, so some crazy, loud fans would be awesome. Just any kind of support we can get. I'm looking forward to having some fun on a huge stage."