Top seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina battled through a tense two-setter with 2017 singles champion Johanna Konta and Heather Watson to reach the last eight at the Miami Open.
MIAMI, FL, USA – Olympic champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina earned a decisive victory over Brits Johanna Konta and Heather Watson, 7-5, 6-4, advancing into the quarterfinals for the second straight week.
Co-ranked World No.3s in doubles, Makarova and Vesnina have been the most consistent team to start 2018 with runs to the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open final, but have nonetheless had to fight in Miami, needing a match tie-break to beat wildcards Eugenie Bouchard and Sloane Stephens, and starting a break down to the Brits to kick off Sunday’s Court 2 clash.
The Russians quickly broke back and kept on serve until the tenth game, earning the crucial break for Vesnina to serve out the opening set.
Konta and Watson were undeterred, edging ahead 3-1 to start the second, but the Russians’ combined experience – five years on tour and counting – proved decisive as they swept five of the final six games win after 91 minutes on court.
Standing between the top seeds and a second straight semifinal will be Lyudmyla Kichenok and Alla Kudryavtseva, who upset No.8 seeds Andreja Klepac and María José Martínez Sánchez, 6-4, 7-5.
Should Makarova and Vesnina reach the final four, the 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global champions will take over the top spot on the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard.