Doubles Draw Delivers Surprises with No. 1 Seeds Knocked Out
By: Nick McCarvel
In simple terms, it’s the veterans vs. the newcomers in Saturday’s two doubles semifinals at the Volvo Car Open.
No. 4 seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Alicja Rosolska will take on Anna-Lena Friedsam and Sara Sorribes Tormo, the latter duo partnering up for the first time.
On the bottom half of the draw it’s the No. 2 seeds Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Klepac (pictured) taking on another first-time team in Irina Khromacheva and Veronika Kudermetova.
It’s been a roller-coaster ride in the doubles, which is always an abundant crowd favorite for fans throughout the week at the Family Circle Tennis Center.
It was Friedsam/Sorribes Tormo who took out the No. 1 seeds Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke in the quarterfinals on Thursday, the German-Spanish duo winning 7-6(1) 6-1.
They’ll meet another German in Groenefeld, an experienced veteran playing alongside another longtime top player in Rosolska, from Poland.
Groeneveld, 33, is playing here for a seventh time. She’s a three-time semi-finalist, having never made the last two.
On the bottom half, Khromacheva/Kudermetova, both from Russia, soared through their first match and then needed a match tie-break to beat the No. 3 seeds Raquel Atawo and Katarina Srebotnik, Srebotnik having won this title last year alongside Alla Kudryavtseva.
The headline-grabbers of the event may have been two local teens, however, as wild cards Chloe Beck (Watkinsville, GA) and Emma Navarro (Charleston) shocked Darija Jurak and Jelena Ostapenko 1-6 6-3 1-0 [13-11] in a first round match on the Althea Gibson Club Court to the delight of a packed crowd.
Beck/Navarro would fall short against Hradecka/Klepac, however, losing 6-3 6-2 on Friday morning.
Hradecka was a finalist here in 2017 while Klepac made the last two here just last year.
So, who advances to championship Sunday? It’s a wait-and-see in what has been a surprising week.