No.8 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez stormed into the GNP Seguros WTA Finals Cancun semifinals with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over No.5 seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs on Friday.
Melichar-Martinez and Perez finish round-robin action in the Maya Ka’an Group with a 2-1 record. That is good enough for second place in that group, behind No.2 seeds Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens, who went 3-0 in group play.
American Melichar-Martinez and Australian Perez took 1 hour and 24 minutes to best Krawczyk and Schuurs on a windy Friday in Cancun. The victors avenged a loss to Krawczyk and Schuurs in this year's Eastbourne final, and the overall head-to-head is now deadlocked at 2-2.
"We put a lot of pressure on them, tried to take away the big parts of the court just because it is so windy," Perez said on court, after the win. "I think we did a good job of that."
"I'm really proud that Ellen and I just really stayed on them, and tried to be aggressive," Melichar-Martinez added. "They're such great players."
Melichar-Martinez and Perez broke serve six times in the match to claim their spot in the final four, where they will face Mahahual Group winners Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe.
Dabrowski and Routliffe remain unbeaten: Earlier on Friday, No.7 seeds Dabrowski and Routliffe completed their group-play campaign with an undefeated record. They stayed unbeaten by defeating No.4 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 7-5.
Reigning US Open champions Dabrowski and Routliffe took 1 hour and 34 minutes to topple 2021 WTA Finals champions Krejcikova and Siniakova. Dabrowski and Routliffe finish atop the Mahahual Group and head into this weekend's semifinals a perfect 3-0.
In the first match of a busy Friday order of play, Dabrowski and Routliffe held firm in gusty conditions. Canada's Dabrowski and New Zealand's Routliffe repeated their previous win over the Czechs, which came in the Cleveland quarterfinals this summer.
Routliffe did not drop a point on her serve in her team's successful first set. Krejcikova and Siniakova, who have paired to win seven Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal, did break Routliffe for a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Dabrowski and Routliffe got back on serve in the very next game.
At 5-5 in the second set, Dabrowski fired a backhand return down the line for a winner on break point, earning her team a chance to serve for the match. There, Dabrowski pulled off a love service hold to maintain their undefeated start in Cancun.
Group play extends into Saturday: The second-place finisher from the Mahahual Group is still yet to be settled. That will be determined when the match between No.1 seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula and No.6 seeds Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva ends on Saturday.
Rain forced that match to be postponed overnight, with Gauff and Pegula leading Siegemund and Zvonareva 6-3, 1-1.