PARIS, France – No.9 seed Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands battled into the quarterfinals of Roland Garros with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Veronika Kudermetova and Zhang Shuai.
The American pair took an hour and 50 minutes to secure the victory, which came about thanks to a single break in the otherwise tight third set.
The opener was a tight affair, with no break points in the opening four games before Kenin and Mattek-Sands fought off two in the fifth game. Thereafter, they dominated the set, twice breaking to secure the opener in 36 minutes.
Kudermetova and Zhang responded in the second. Again the formative stages were evenly balanced, but the Russian-Chinese combination won the final four games to force a decider.
Neither side gave much away on serve in the third. Indeed, it was Kudermetova and Zhang who looked the stronger on serve as they conceded only one point in their first three games.
The ninth game proved pivotal, however, with Kenin and Mattek-Sands breaking to love before holding to 15, thereby setting up a last-eight meeting with either Viktoria Kuzmova and Kristyna Pliskova or Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
The biggest shock of the last 16, meanwhile, arrived as No.14 seeds Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk overcame No.1-ranked Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova, 6-4, 7-5.
The Chilean-American pairing made a quick start to the game, twice breaking in the first three games, building a sufficient foundation to take the frame.
The second proved to be more complicated. Twice the top seeds broke to take a two-game lead, yet on each occasion they were immediately pegged back.
In the 11th game, the underdogs made their play, getting what proved to be the decisive break.
There was a further shock as No.5 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Jelena Ostapenko were defeated, 6-4, 6-4 by Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Marta Kostyuk.
In a see-saw opening set, the unseeded pair grabbed three breaks to take the initiative, and in a second set that saw seven successive breaks of serve, they claimed victory on their fourth match point.
No.2 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic cruised past Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria TIg, 6-2, 6-3 in 68 minutes, while No.7 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara moved past No.10 seeds Hayley Carter and Luisa Stefani, 6-4, 7-5.
The final match of Sunday was an all-American affair, with Asia Muhammad and Jessica Pegula proving too strong for Coco Gauff and Caty McNally, 7-6(5), 6-3.