As the All England Club enters the final few days of competition, the Ladies’ Doubles Championship produced some surprising results on Day Nine. Last year’s runners-up, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, were ousted by a pair of Australians, while the highest remaining seeds are Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke.
The winners, as in the Ladies’ Singles Championship, will be a first-time Grand Slam-winning team.
For Hlavackova and Hradecka, the 2011 French Open champions and Olympic silver medallists in 2012, the No.12 seeds, Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua of Australia, proved too strong. They lost 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 as their opponents struck four times as many winners (12 to three) over the course of the third round match.
The Australians kicked off the season with a run to the final at the Australian Open, which they lost to the No.1 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. The Italians, who were seeded No.1 at Wimbledon this year, lost in the third round.
Next up for Barty and Dellacqua, who collected the Birmingham title on grass in June, are Groenefeld and Peschke, who scored an upset of their own to advance.
The No.7 seeds knocked out the No.3 duo of Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik 7-6(2), 6-3. During the win, Groenefeld and Peschke were the more aggressive pair, firing six aces and 13 winners, while also winning 40 of 78 points on the return of serve.
Together, Groenefeld and Peschke have won two titles together: in Linz, Austria, last year and this year in Brussels, Belgium.
In the top half of the draw, the unseeded pair of Shuko Aoyama and Chanelle Scheepers defeated the No.16 Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in a close, three-set battle. In a match lasting nearly three hours, Aoyama and Scheepers won 7-6(6), 5-7, 6-4 despite earning four fewer points throughout the match: 118 to 122.
Their opponents for a place in the championship match at the All England Club are the No.8 seeds, Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai, who scored a straight-sets win over Jelena Jankovic and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Hsieh and Shuai have won five titles together over the past four years, including in Italy earlier this year.
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
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