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Highs and lows in a full day of ladies' doubles

Lucie Hradecka and Michaella Krajicek in ladies' doubles action
by Vivienne Christie
Friday 27 June 2014

Day 5 has seen a host of exciting matches in the ladies' doubles, from defending champions to first-time partnerships, the third round is shaping up. 

If it’s former Grand Slam champions you’re hoping to watch at Wimbledon, you’d be hard-pressed to look past the ladies’ doubles draw. From history-making defending champions Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng, the first players from their respective nations of Chinese Taipei and China to obtain the world No.1 doubles ranking, to five-time Wimbledon doubles champions Serena and Venus Williams, those major winners are everywhere. 

But perhaps it’s the women that are most unheralded that will prove the biggest threat in the 2014 Championships. Certainly that was true today when Shuko Aoyama and Renata Voracova outclassed former champions Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond in a 0-6, 7-6(5),6-4 victory spanning more than two hours. The Americans claimed their titles separately (Raymond in 2001, Huber in 2005 and 2007) but were expected to combine effectively against their less experienced opponents, who are ranked world No.38 and No.79 in doubles respectively.

There was another stunning contest between Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro as they faced Klara Koukalova and Monica Niculescu. Perhaps slightly favoured given their 16th seeding, the Spaniards nevertheless faced a tough challenge, taking two hours and 20 minutes to claim the 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

Muguruza has an extra incentive in the doubles event, having suffered a first-round upset to Coco Vandeweghe in singles. “Tough loss yesterday,” she later tweeted. “Looking forward to have better feelings in doubles!”

That’s also true for Samantha Stosur following her straight sets loss to Yanina Wickmayer in the singles. The Australian has claimed doubles titles at the French and US Opens but finished a frustrating second at Wimbledon on three occasions. Combining with Flavia Pennetta to defeat 13th seeds Lucie Hradecka and Michaella Krajicek 7-5, 6-3 to reach the third round was thus a welcome step in this year’s campaign.

Yaroslava Shvedova is another player who has shined previously at Wimbledon, having claimed the 2010 title with Vania King. The Kazakhstani showed that a second title with Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues might also be a possibility, as the 12th seeds combined to defeat Zarina Diyas and Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-0, 6-0 in 48 minutes.

Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova advanced in similarly convincing fashion, defeating young Americans Madison Keys and Alison Riske 6-2,6-2 in 54 minutes.

Day Five also saw the completion of round one doubles matches. No.5 seeds Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina advanced against Irina Camelia Begu and Karin Knapp. Australians Jarmila Gajdosova and Arina Rodionova successfully combined in their first Grand Slam together to defeat Francesca Schiavone and Silvia Soler-Espinosa. Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, the No.7 seeds, outclassed Naomi Broady and Eleni Daniilidou. 

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