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British wild cards Rae and Smith put up brave doubles fight

Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng in ladies' doubles action
by Kate Mason
Thursday 26 June 2014

British wild cards Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith produced a plucky display in the ladies' doubles but were eventually beaten by the Flavia Pennetta and Sam Stosur 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. 

Rae and Smith started well against the experienced singles players. Both bold at the net and with good solid groundstrokes, they worked beautifully as a team, with Smith’s smile often lighting up the court between points.

After winning the first set they really started to enjoy themselves, while Stosur’s right arm appeared to tighten. Currently ranked world No.17 in singles, she was knocked out in the first round and early on her mood suggested how much she wanted to remain in the doubles draw.

In the end the experience told. A wobbly service game from Smith at 5-6 in the second set gave Stosur and Pennetta too many opportunities and they broke to take the second 7-5. The Brits never recovered but their teamwork and shot-making were a joy to watch.

The top seeds, Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng, beat Darija Jurak and Megan Moulton-Levy in straight sets 6-2, 7-5 on Court No.9. Hsieh and Peng were returning to competition for the first time since winning the French Open title three weeks ago and needed some time to get going.

"After the French Open we wanted to get some rest and we didn’t play together,'' Peng said. "This meant at first today I was quite tight. I was glad to get the match done before the rain came."

The nervousness showed with some sloppy serving from both sides in the first set. But Hsieh and Peng got their act together,  sneaking a break from Jurak and Moulton-Levy as they served at 5-6 down to take the match.

Earlier, Yvonne Meusburger and Katarzyna Piter took eight games before getting on the scoreboard against No.15 seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond. Emboldened, they made it four more before succumbing in straight sets 6-0, 7-5. On Court 16 Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia of France overcame a second set wobble to defeat Hao-Ching Chan and Yun-Jan Chan 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Britain's Naomi Broady and Greece's Eleni Daniilidou led No.7 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears of the US 6-5, 15-15 before rain halted play.

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