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Mixed doubles throws up mixed fortunes

Julien-Jean Rojer and Vera Dushevina in action on No.12 Court.
by Benjamin Snyder
Thursday 4 July 2013

As the 2013 Championships draw closer to a conclusion, two of the top four seeds in the mixed doubles event advanced to the semi-finals. Lisa Raymond, last year’s champion, partnered with Bruno Soares this year to form the No.1 duo secured a win on Day 10.

Meanwhile, the No.2 team of Horia Tecau, a three-time Wimbledon runner-up in the gentlemen’s doubles, and two-time mixed doubles winner Sania Mirza, lost in straight sets.

The top seeds of Soares and Raymond faced a tough test against the unseeded combination of John Peers and Ashleigh Barty of Australia. To win, Soares and Raymond survived two tie-breaks for the 7-6(6), 7-6(4) victory. Peers and Barty proved to be the more dominant players on serve, striking 17 aces to just four for Soares and Raymond. Moreover, the Aussie duo hit 27 winners to nine for the Brazilian and American.

But sometimes it comes down to playing the tie-break better and it was the experience of Raymond and Soares that ultimately shone through.

They will face the unseeded Jean-Julien Rojer and Vera Dushevina, who overcame a three set challenge from the No.7 team of Rohan Bopanna and Zheng Jie to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Earlier in the tournament Rojer and Dushevina took out the No.4 seeds and 1999 mixed doubles winners Max Mirnyi and Andrea Hlavackova.

At the bottom of the draw, meanwhile, another close match decided by two tie-breaks ousted the No.2 seeds Tecau and Mirza. The winners? Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic, the No.8 seeds. They’ve proven so far this year that they are a force together on court, having advanced to the finals of the French Open.

In a match that took nearly two hours, Nestor and Mladenovic played a cleaner match than their higher-seeded opponents. They hit 15 winners to only four unforced errors.

Up next for the Canadian and Frenchwoman are the No.3 seeds Nenad Zimonjic and Katarina Srebotnik, who went through in another close quarter-final appearance. They defeated the No.11 Marcin Matkowski and Kveta Peschke of Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively, 7-6(10), 6-7(6), 6-4 in over two hours.

By converting only one break point out of two chances total and hitting 20 winners to their opponents' 11, Zimonjic and Srebotnik advanced for a step closer to a shot at the title.

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