Russians Daria Kasatkina and Elena Vesnina stopped the unstoppable on Thursday at the Qatar Total Open. The unseeded duo brought an end to Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis' lengthy winning streak that dated back to last year's U.S. Open.
Mirza-Hingis' Win Streak Ends at 41 in Doha
It has been 41 matches and nearly seven months since Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis tasted defeat. That changed today as Daria Kasatkina and Elena Vesnina scored the upset of the Qatar Total Open's top seeds 2-6, 6-4, 10-5. Mirza and Hingis looked to be cruising to another win after breaking the Russians twice in the opening set, but soon found themselves in trouble. In the second set, both Mirza and Hingis dropped serve to put the top seeds in an inescapable hole at 0-4. That forced a super tiebreak finish where Mirza-Hingis had been perfect during this winning streak.
Mirza and Hingis had won six of six super tiebreaks during the streak, but stumbled on serve today as they dropped all but one of their seven service attempts in the super breaker. That allowed Kasatkina and Vesnina to pounce as the Russians blasted to a 5-1 lead and would not look back. Mirza and Hingis had last loss in Cincinnati last summer in the semifinals to Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan.
Second Seeds Also Ousted in Doha, Chans Survive
In addition to Mirza and Hingis losing, second seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Yaroslava Shvedova also fell today. Sara Errani and Carla Suarez Navarro continued their newfound success as they edged the second seeds 5-7, 6-4, 10-5. The win puts Errani and Suarez Navarro into back-to-back semifinals after making it that far in Dubai last week. Elsewhere, the fourth seeded Chan sisters would not falter like the other seeds. The Chans pushed through to the semifinals with a spirited 6-1, 7-5 (6) win over 6th seeds Timea Babos and Julia Goerges. The other quarterfinal in Doha saw Gabriela Dabrowski and Maria Jose Sanchez Martinez defeat Kateryna Bondarenko and Olga Savchuk 7-6 (4), 7-5.
Melo-Soares Dominate as Seeds Roll in Sao Paulo
Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares barely broke a sweat in their opening in Sao Paulo on Thursday. The top seeds crushed Nicolas Almagro and Eduoardo Russi Assumpcao 6-1, 6-3. They were only forced to save one break point, otherwise winning 32 of 46 service points in the opening round romp. They broke Almagro and Russi Assumpcao four times on eight chances. Up next for Melo-Soares will be a quarterfinal clash against Guillermo Duran and Andres Molteni.
In other action, third seeds Andre Sa and Maximo Gonzalez surged past Italians Paolo Lorenzi and Marco Cecchinato 7-6 (4), 6-1. After a tough opening set, the third seeds dominated the second set with a pair of service breaks, winning eight of the 14 points played off the Italians' serves. Andrej Martin and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo won out over Pedro Bernardi and Guillermo Clezar 6-3, 3-6, 10-2. Martin and Podlipnik-Castillo were perfect on serve in the super tiebreak, winning six of six points along with taking four of six points off their Brazilian opponents.
The final doubles match of the day saw David Marrero and Pablo Carreno Busta continue a successful partnership with the Spaniards beating Taro Daniel and Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-4. The win marks Marreo and Carreno Busta's fifth win in their last six main draw matches together.
Semifinal Field Set in Dubai
The last two quarterfinals were completed at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday. Lukasz Kubot and Marcin Matkowski won the thriller of the day. They defeated Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek 3-6, 6-3, 10-5. The other result saw Simone Bolelli and Andres Seppi advance with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Jamie Murray and Tommy Robredo. The two winning teams will square off in one semifinal in Dubai. The other will pit Marc and Feliciano Lopez against qualifiers Hyeon Chung and Jiri Vesely.
Thursday's Early Results in Acapulco
The first doubles match of the day in Mexico saw third seeds Alexander Peya and Philipp Petzschner cruise past Jonathan Erlich and Colin Fleming 6-4, 6-2. Peya-Petzschner were rarely troubled as they broke their opponents three times. They would face a single break point in the opening set that was saved. The Killer Ps are the first team to move into the semifinals of the men's draw at the Abierto Mexicano Telecel.
Later tonight, top seeds Jean-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah will be back in action. Cabal-Farah are riding a nine match win streak. Fourth seeds Max Mirnyi and Treat Huey also hit the court this evening. They get a repeat match with last year's Acapulco champs Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Santiago Gonzalez. Mirnyi-Huey beat the 2015 champs last week at the Delray Beach Open.
In the women's draw, the top three seeds are all in action tonight. Top seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja are playing Tatjana Maria and Maria Sanchez in a match that is now in progress. Second seeds Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson battle Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Yanina Wickmayer. Third seeds Lara Arruabarrena and Paula Goncalves are set to take on Maria Irigoyen and Paula Kania.
ATP Acapulco Wednesday Night Results
(1) Cabal-Farah def. Haase-de Bakker 6-4, 7-6 (5)
Butorac-Lipsky def. (2) Klaasen-Ram 7-6 (8), 6-0
Marach-Martin def. Paes-Chardy 6-2, 6-4
WTA Acapulco Wednesday Night Results
Maria-M.Sanchez def. Mestach-Schuurs 2-6, 7-6 (5), 10-5
Irigoyen-Kania def. Glushko-R.Peterson 5-7, 7-5, 10-4
McHale-Han def.Erakovic-Soler Espinosa 6-4, 6-2