LONDON, Great Britain – Unseeded duo Yang Zhaoxuan and Matwe Middelkoop moved through to the semifinals of the mixed doubles at The Championships as they defeated No.1 seeds Nicole Melichar and Bruno Soares, 6-4, 6-3.
There were just three breaks of serve in the entire match, one coming in first set, two in the second and all in favor of the Chinese-Dutch combination.
Soares and Melichar were unable to reprise the form that saw them overcome the headline couple of Serena Williams and Andy Murray in three sets just a day previous.
The American came into the tournament as one half of last year’s champions – partner Alexander Peya was unable to participate due to injury – but she was to be the one who was broken in the first set.
By contrast, their opponents were solid on their delivery, with Middelkoop the dominant factor in the match. They gave up break points only as they fought to serve the first set out but ran through four points in succession after falling 15-40 behind.
Their American-Brazilian opponents stepped up a gear at the beginning of the second set, but some redoubtable defense from Yang, who covered the court impressively, meant that the first six games of the second set all went in favor with the serving pair.
Yang was forced to save a couple of break points, aided by the net coverage of her partner, but until Melichar served for the second time in the set, they had not even hinted at breaking. The American’s delivery proved vulnerable again in the seventh game as she was broken to 30.
It proved the critical moment of the second set as Yang and Middelkoop won the final four games, Soares double faulting on match point.
They will face the winner of the match to follow on Court No.1, Jelena Ostapenko and Robert Lindstedt against No.12 seeds Raluca Olaru and Franco Skugor.
The other semifinal will pit No.5 seed Kveta Peschke and Wesley Koolhof, who defeated Artem Sitak and Laura Siegemund, 6-1, 6-2 in 55 minutes, against the victors of the match between Latisha Chan and Ivan Dogic, and British wildcards Eden Silva and Evan Hoyt.