NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.2 seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos powered into the US Open semifinals after a hard-fought win over Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova in brutally hot conditions.
“Of course we are really happy, we just played them a couple of weeks ago and we had a defeat there in Cincinnati even though it was a very good match from us,” Babos said. “We had many things to learn from it, and from all those matches.
“We took a deep breath and tried to improve our game, and obviously it’s working better so far. In this tournament we’re producing our very best tennis. I think we’ve improved a lot together and so this is definitely a great win.”
The pair had to fight through a complicated first set, starting down a break on a day that saw temperatures soar past the 90 degree Fahrenheit mark (32 Celsius) and triggering an Extreme Heat suspension of all Junior matches.
Babos and Mladenovic fought their way back from a break down twice in the set to reach the tiebreaker, where they pulled away by winning the first four of five points to firmly establish the lead.
The Czechs threatened a comeback in the second, once again starting the set with a break advantage, but Babos and Mladenovic found another gear and rattled off the last five games in a row to close out their spot in the semifinals.
“The conditions were very tough, I have to say, but when you are physically ready you feel good out there,” Mladenovic explained. “It’s doubles, so for us it’s a bit easier - I won’t say that you can’t get tired on the doubles court, especially in these conditions, but in singles it’s different.
“For sure we could feel the heat and humidity, but we are singles players mainly so our physical capacity is very high for doubles.”
Also into the semifinals, No.13 seeds Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe had a more straightforward path against Dalila Jakupovic and Irina Khromacheva, advancing after an hour and 12 minutes with a 6-2, 6-3 victory.